ATLANTA -- Emory University Hospital announced early Thursday that it will discuss the discharge of two Ebola patients.
Dr. Bruce Ribner, medical director of the hospital's Infectious Disease Unit, will talk about the decision to release the patients during a press conference at 11 a.m.
The hospital said one of the patients, Dr. Kent Brantly, will be present at the conference and is expected to make a statement. He will not answer questions or conduct interviews, and will go to an undisclosed location to reconnect with his wife and children after the conference.
According to CNN, two blood tests done over a two-day period had to come back negative for Ebola before Brantly could be discharged. When he first showed signs of the disease, he was apparently so ill that he called his wife to say goodbye. An experimental drug helped make Brantly strong enough to walk from the ambulance into the hospital when he first arrived at Emory.
Samaritan's Purse, the Christian humanitarian organization for which Brantly works, released this statement from its president, Franklin Graham, Thursday morning:
Today I join all of our Samaritan's Purse team around the world in giving thanks to God as we celebrate Dr. Kent Brantly's recovery from Ebola and release from the hospital. Over the past few weeks, I have marveled at Dr. Brantly's courageous spirit as he has fought this horrible virus with the help of the highly competent and caring staff at Emory University Hospital. His faithfulness to God and compassion for the people of Africa have been an example to us all.
I know that Dr. Brantly and his wonderful family would ask that you please remember and pray for those in Africa battling, treating and suffering from Ebola. Those who have given up the comforts of home to serve the suffering and the less fortunate are in many ways just beginning this battle.
We have more than 350 staff in Liberia, and others will soon be joining them, so please pray for those who have served with Dr. Brantly -- along with the other doctors, aid workers and organizations that are at this very moment desperately trying to stop Ebola from taking any more lives.
According to an exclusive 11Alive News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 66 percent of Georgians agreed with the decision to treat Brantly and fellow American Ebola patient Nancy Writebol at Emory.