UPDATE: Doctor's condition worsening after contracting Ebola

UPDATE: Doctor's condition worsening after contracting Ebola
Dr. Kent Brantly
Published: .
Updated: .
The health of an American doctor who contracted Ebola in Africa is deteriorating, according to a former colleague.

Dr. David Mcray, the director of maternal-child health at JPS Health Network where Dr. Kent Brantly completed his residency just months before heading to West Africa, has been in touch with Brantly by phone and email. He said Brantly had been working for months when he contracted the disease. Mcray said Brantly has told him he is "terrified."

Mcray said Brantly's prognosis is grave. The doctor is suffering fever, headache and abdominal pain in an isolation unit for Ebola patients on the outskirts of Liberia's capital of Monrovia - just 12 miles away from the hospital where he had been treating patients for the same virus since October 2013 as part of what was intended to be a two-year medical missions trip.


Dr. Brantly was serving as the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan's Purse in Monrovia.

From his bed in isolation, Brantly sent this message - obtained by our CNN affiliate WFAA - back to Fort Worth:

I'm praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease. Please continue to pray along with me and pray for my friend Nancy who is also very sick, and for the doctors who are taking care of us.

Thank you all so much.


His mother, Jan, said the 33-year-old's "heart is in Africa" and that he comes from a long line of physicians and missionaries. He grew up in Indianapolis, attending Heritage Christian high School, went on mission trips while he was still young and has also worked in Uganda and Tanzania. An Indiana University School of Medicine spokesperson said Brantly graduated from there in 2009. She said Brantly worked performed humanitarian work while still in medical school, working with impoverished, inner-city residents.

"He and his wife, I think even before they met, knew they wanted to do missions and so they have always lived their lives with that in mind," added Jason Brewington, a friend of Brantly's.

Samaritan's Purse spokesperson Melissa Strickland says that Brantly's wife and children had been living with him in Africa, but they are currently in the U.S. The family is based in Fort Worth, Texas.

Strickland said that Brantly began serving in Africa as part of a post-residency program before the Ebola outbreak began. The deadly disease has already killed 672 in several countries since the outbreak began earlier this year.

Meanwhile, a second U.S. citizen working at the same center in Liberia has also tested positive for Ebola. Nancy Writebol is employed by SIM in Liberia and was helping the joint SIM/Samaritan’s Purse team that is treating Ebola patients at the Case Management Center in Monrovia, according to a statement on the Samaritan's Purse website.

Writebol is married with two children.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.