Ebola survivor Writebol speaks for the first time - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Ebola survivor Writebol speaks for the first time

Nancy and David Writebol speak at a press conference. Nancy and David Writebol speak at a press conference.
Nancy Writebol survived Ebola. Nancy Writebol survived Ebola.

One of the Ebola patients treated in Atlanta spoke to the media for the first time after surviving the often deadly disease.

Nancy Writebol walked in the room with a broad smile as she and her husband David were greeted by reporters at a press conference in Charlotte, NC Wednesday.

Writebol looked happy and healthy, a far cry from when she was wheeled into Emory University Hospital on a stretcher a month ago to be treated for Ebola.

"It is a special day," said an emotional SIM President Bruce Johnson. "This is kind of her coming out party."

"Two months ago, our world was turned upside down," Johnson added.

"I am so humbled that God would return Nancy to health when so many are dying," said David Writebol, Nancy's husband. "She is the best part of my life. I am so thankful that she is with me still."

Both Johnson and David Writebol regularly tried to turn the focus away from Nancy's recovery and put the focus on the thousands touched by Ebola in Africa.

"There continues to be a need for concern in West Africa. There continues to be a need for action," David Writebol said.

When Nancy Writebol came forward to speak, she had a broad smile.

"It is wonderful to be with you," she said. "I say good morning to Liberia. Our prayers are with you, our prayers are for you."

"This is not our story, this is God's story," said Nancy Writebol before addressing reporters.

Nancy Writebol said on July 22, she woke up and was not feeling well. She went into work for a while before leaving to go to the doctor. She said she felt like she had malaria, which she had once before.

The hospital test came back positive for malaria and she was treated. But when the standard treatment was over, Nancy Writebol said she was not feeling better.

"We know you don't have Ebola. You don't have the symptoms," Nancy Writebol said her doctor told her. "We're going to take this test just to be sure and set everyone's mind at ease."

Days later, she was resting at home when David Writebol came home with the doctor. Her husband told her their friend and colleague Kent Brantly had Ebola.

"My heart sank," Nancy Writebol said.

"I also need to tell you, that you have Ebola," said David Writebol to his wife.

"David came up to give me a hug," said Nancy Writebol. "I knew how dangerous that was and I put up my hands and said 'no.' I had no clue what was going to happen."

The survivor said although she kept her faith, it was not always easy.

"There were many mornings I woke up and said 'I'm alive,' and there were many mornings I woke up and said 'I don't think I can make it any more.'"

Nancy Writebol explained just how sick she was when she boarded the airplane for Atlanta. She explained how the crew had to load her on to the plane using the baggage conveyer belt.

However, Nancy Writebol persevered and made small signs of progression every day.

Doctors were unsure if she would be able to walk during the treatment. Tired of lying in bed, she mustered up the energy to get up.

"I sat up on the side of the bed and decided I was going to the bathroom and to the shower," said Nancy Writebol. A nurse spotted her and ran to help her, but Nancy Writebol was able to walk and showed improvement.

Nancy Writebol was released from Emory in August. Days later, her colleague Kent Brantly also walked out of the hospital. He addressed the media from Emory.

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