First Ebola Survivor Visits Ohio Valley University


Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American survivor of the Ebola virus, was at Ohio Valley University in Vienna Monday night passing on his message about battling the disease. 

  Brantly was diagnosed with Ebola while serving as a doctor for Samaritan’s Purse Mission in Liberia. What happened next is the story that led to the not-yet-published book that he and his wife, Amber, wrote. Brantly was working as a doctor in Liberia when the news came that Ebola had spread to the country. 

I never thought that I would get Ebola, you don’t step into that situation thinking, ‘Well I might get it.’ We took every precaution, we followed every protocol, we used the proper equipment and the proper procedures to protect ourselves, but when I got sick and I woke up not feeling well, I wasn’t naive enough to think that I could not have Ebola, that it was impossible. – Dr. Kent Brantly

Brantly said on Wednesday July 23rd, 2014, he woke up feeling not quite right. He says his early symptoms, 

  which included a lack of a fever and some stomach discomfort, led him to believe it may be malaria. But he says by noon that day his fever spiked, eventually reaching 104.9 degrees. That set in motion a series of events that had him transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where he would be nursed back to health.

He said that while he may be recovered and there may be no active cases in the United States, he doesn’t want the public to forget about those countries still dealing with the epidemic.

Out of sight and out of mind, it’s true. We stop thinking about and worrying about the things that don’t affect us, we don’t build up great concern about people we don’t know and that is a problem because every person that’s dying over there is someone’s mother or brother or sister or father. – Dr. Kent Brantly

Kent Brantly was included in Time Magazine’s “2014 Person of the Year” issue in their recognition of “The Ebola Fighters.”

Kent’s ties to the mountain state are through his father, a graduate of St. Albans High School and the West Virginia University School of Medicine.