July 31, 2014. The condition of Nancy Writebol, a missionary who recently contracted Ebola while serving in Liberia, has worsened, according to SIM (www.simusa.org), the Christian missions organization with which she serves. She continues her battle against the deadly virus. Writebol was serving alongside Dr. Kent Brantly on a joint team of people with Samaritan’s Purse and SIM when they contracted Ebola.
Writebol is in stable, but serious condition and is receiving an experimental drug that doctors hope will better address her condition. Her husband, David, is close by. With her condition, he can only visit his wife through a window or dressed in a haz-mat suit.
“We continue to pray for Nancy’s full and complete recovery,” said Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA. “Even though her condition has worsened, we know she is receiving the best possible medical care, and we are thankful that she has access to this experimental drug. We believe in the power of prayer and ask people around the world not only to pray for Nancy and Kent, but also for everyone affected by this terrible virus.”
Both are in stable but grave condition.
While Brantly took a slight turn for the worse overnight and battles to survive Ebola, this heroic doctor is still focused on the well-being of others.
“Yesterday, an experimental serum arrived in the country, but there was only enough for one person. Dr. Brantly asked that it be given to Nancy Writebol,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse.“However, Dr. Brantly received a unit of blood from a 14-year-old boy who had survived Ebola because of Dr. Brantly’s care. The young boy and his family wanted to be able to help the doctor who saved his life.”
The safety of staff is a top priority, and Samaritan’s Purse is currently working to evacuate all but the most essential personnel to their home countries. The evacuation should be completed this weekend. The exact timeline and destinations are being kept confidential to respect their privacy. Samaritan’s Purse is taking precautions that exceed the standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
None of the evacuating staff are ill, and the World Health Organization and CDC continue to reiterate that people are not contagious unless they begin showing symptoms. Following their evacuation, Samaritan’s Purse will work with staff to monitor their health.
To date, no other SIM personnel have tested positive for Ebola.
SIM remains committed to the safety of all personnel in affected areas and is in the process of removing all non-essential employees from Liberia. SIM is not releasing a timeline for the evacuations or destinations because of a respect for the privacy of its personnel. The missions organization is taking safeguards that exceed the standards recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
Despite these perilous conditions, SIM remains committed to Liberia. The organization currently has two SIM doctors caring for Writebol and Brantly, and SIM’s Liberian staff is still engaged in the region. SIM ministries, including its radio station, school and HIV-AIDS public health education group, continue to operate.