Emory University Hospital to announce release of American Ebola patients

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ATLANTA - Emory University Hospital will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to talk about the release of both Ebola patients currently being treated at the hospital. Dr. Kent Brantly is expected to be present at the news conference to make a statement.

Nancy Writebol has been discharged and is no longer a patient at Emory University Hospital, sources confirmed.

News Chopper 2 was there as Brantly arrived at the hospital Saturday, Aug. 2, where he walked in wearing a protective suit. A second Ebola patient, Nancy Writebol, arrived three days later.

Both patients had been kept in isolation inside the hospital as they received treatment for the virus.

In a statement from Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, he said:

“Today I join all of our Samaritan’s Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly’s recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital. Over the past few weeks I have marveled at Dr. Brantly’s courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital. His faithfulness to God and compassion for the people of Africa have been an example to us all.

“I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle.

“We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly - along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.”

The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now at least 1,350 people.

The latest figures Wednesday show that the deaths are mounting fastest in Liberia, which now accounts for at least 576 of the deaths.

In a previously released statement, Brantly talked about his work as a missionary in Liberia.

“My wife Amber and I, along with our two children, did not move to Liberia for the specific purpose of fighting Ebola. We went to Liberia because we believe God called us to serve Him at ELWA Hospital.

“One thing I have learned is that following God often leads us to unexpected places. When Ebola spread into Liberia, my usual hospital work turned more and more toward treating the increasing number of Ebola patients. I held the hands of countless individuals as this terrible disease took their lives away from them. I witnessed the horror firsthand, and I can still remember every face and name.

“When I started feeling ill on that Wednesday morning, I immediately isolated myself until the test confirmed my diagnosis three days later. When the result was positive, I remember a deep sense of peace that was beyond all understanding. God was reminding me of what He had taught me years ago, that He will give me everything I need to be faithful to him.”

In a previous statement from David Writebol, Nancy's husband, he talked about coming to Atlanta to visit his wife three weeks after she was transported from Liberia to Atlanta to receive treatment.

"I have had the great joy to be able to look through the isolation room glass and see my beautiful wife again. We both placed our hands on opposite sides of the glass, moved with tears to look at each other again. She was standing with her radiant smile, happy beyond words. She is continuing to slowly gain strength, eager for the day when the barriers separating us are set aside, and we can simply hold each other. We prayed together over the intercom, praising our great and mighty God for his goodness to us," David Writebol said.

The news conference at Emory University Hosptial will take place at 11 a.m. Brantly will make a statement at that time but will not take any questions.

Channel 2 Action News will have complete coverage of this developing story throughout the day. We will have multiple crews at the press conference which will be streamed on WSBTV.com. We will also have live reports about the latest developments starting on Channel 2 Action News at Noon.

Check back with WSBTV.com for the latest on this developing story as well.