Ebola virus survivor speaks publicly for the first time

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CHARLOTTE, NC. - Ebola virus survivor Nancy Writebol spoke publicly about her recovery for the first time on Wednesday.

At the same Charlotte, North Carolina news conference, SIM USA President Bruce Johnson announced new information about the third American infected with Ebola.

Doctors brought Writebol from Liberia to Emory University Hospital in metro Atlanta for treatment of the Ebola virus.

On Aug. 19, she was released after doctors declared her healthy and virus-free.  

At the news conference Wednesday, she revealed how she first found out she had the virus.

She entered with a smile on her face, and greeted the crowd with a wave.

“It is a wonderful to be with you. It is a great privilege to be with you. And I say good morning to Liberia, too,” said Writebol.

Writebol expressed gratitude for the medical staff that cared for her and Dr. Kent Brantly, who was also infected with Ebola, while they were at Emory University Hospital.

“I would also like to thank the doctors and nursing staff at Emory. And 21 nurses served Dr. Brantly and myself. A lot of fun to be around, too,” said Writebol.

Writebol talked about the moment she found out that she had the Ebola virus.

“Their comments were ‘Nancy, we are so sorry. It’s going to be okay.’ I had no clue what was going to happen,” said Writebol.

Doctors gave Writebol an experimental drug, ZMapp, to help treat the Ebola virus.

She said she is often asked whether it was ZMapp, the doctors or God that cured her.

“My answer to that question is ‘all the above,’” said Writebol.

She described what her days in isolation were like.

“It’s a really lonely place to be when you’re not able to be with the people that you love, to be able to touch your husband, or to be able to reach out to your children, even,” said Writebol.

Her husband, David Writebol, also spoke at the conference. She said two months ago, his world was turned upside-down.

“So thankful for this beautiful woman who is still part of my life. She is the most beautiful woman of my life. I love her with all my heart,” said David Writebol.