Ebola doctor back in Indy to share story of survival

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Dr. Kent Brantly, one of two American's with Ebola Virus Disease treated at Emory University Hospital speaks to media during a press conference on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

INDIANAPOLIS (July 28, 2015) – One year ago Doctor Kent Brantly got the worst news of his life.

The Indianapolis native had tested positive for Ebola while working as a medical missionary in Liberia.

In his new book, ‘Called for Life,’ Brantly shares intimate details about the experience that nearly killed him.

Tuesday he was back home in Indy for a book discussion and book signing.

Brantly worked frantically to save his patients as the deadly disease spread through West Africa. He’d only had one patient survive when suddenly he became a patient himself.

“It was a very surreal, weighty moment,” said Brantly. “But it was very matter of fact. It was very peaceful in a lot of ways to say ‘okay now we know, let’s move forward.’”

In the book Brantly talks about his colleagues putting their lives at risk while treating him. He would become the first person to be treated for Ebola here in the United States. But he nearly died before making it here.

In front of a packed crowd at the Central library, Brantly shared how his fellow doctors made a courageous decision- to give him an experimental drug that had never been used on a human before.

They didn’t think he’d make it another hour without it.

“I was aware that this could be it,” Brantly told CBS4. “I remember thinking ‘I’m not going to be able to be able to keep breathing. I’m about to die.’”

Just two days later Brantly stepped out of an ambulance and walked inside Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. He says he had no idea TV news choppers were flying overhead.

He spent three weeks in isolation before he was finally declared Ebola free. When he left the hospital, he thanked God for saving his life. In the book, he says he still can’t explain how he was healed or why his life was spared.

Brantly and his family actually returned to Liberia last month for the first time since his diagnosis to thank those who saved his life. We’ll have more of that interview with Brantly, Wednesday on CBS4.

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