UK

Ebola Doctor Kent Brantly 'Praying To God' After Being Infected

30/07/2014 13:49 BST | Updated 30/07/2014 15:59 BST

An American doctor who travelled to West Africa to fight the worst ever outbreak of Ebola has said he is "terrified" and "praying fervently to God" that he will survive, after becoming infected with the fatal disease.

Dr Kent Brantly, a 33-year-old father-of-two, who went to the region with the Christian aid group Samaritan's Purse, was the first American infected with the disease, which killed more than 670 people in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in the recent weeks.

He isolated himself in a ward at the treatment centre in Liberia after he noticed he developed symptoms. He is being treated for at a hospital on Monrovia, Liberia's capital.

kent brantly

Dr Kent Brantly (pictured left) in protective gear, before he was infected

In an email, he asked people to also pray for Nancy Writebol, who was the second American infected with the disease.

"I'm praying fervently that God will help me survive this disease," Dr Brantly said in an email to Dr David McRay, the director of maternal-child health at John Peter Smith Hospital in Texas, where Dr Brantly worked for four years.

Dr McRay read the message out at a press conference at the hospital in Forth Worth, where he discussed his former colleague.

He told reporters Dr Brantly was "terrified" of the disease progressing further.

kent brantly

Dr Mcray at a press conference, discussing his former colleague Dr Brantly

“Kent is in the first week of the illness,” he told reporters. “He is not in critical condition at this time but he is seriously ill and the prognosis is grave.”

He added: "He doesn’t want people to lose sight that he’s one of three people at this hospital who got infected and one of them has already died.

"In Kent’s eyes, he’s no more special than all of the Africans who are passing away. He just doesn’t want to be in the middle of all this.”

"God's going to deliver me from this but even if he doesn't, I have lived my life for him and I have no regrets," Dr Brantly told Kent Smith, an elder at the South Central Alliance Churches in Fort Worth.

"It's a very stressful time," Brantly's mother Jan told The Daily Mail.

"Kent is a fine young man, very compassionate, doing what he's prepared all his life to do. He's placed his life in the hands of a loving God and our love in that God that sustains us.

"We pray constantly for him and we solicit the prayer of the whole world. He's a brave man. He's doing what he's doing to serve his God and we are asking people to pray."

"Kent prepared himself to be a lifetime medical missionary," she told the Associated Press. "His heart is in Africa."

SEE ALSO:

The British government views Ebola as a "very serious threat", Philip Hammond said today, as it emerged a that man has been tested at a hospital in Birmingham suspected of carrying the deadly virus into the UK, after travelling from Nigeria via Paris.

The unidentified man has since tested negative for the virus, the Daily Mail reported, but health professionals are being urged to keep vigilant for signs of the deadly ebola virus amid fears that it could spread to the UK.

Another man visited Charing Cross Hospital in west London over fears he had the virus but doctors ruled out the need for an Ebola test.