“Kent, bud. We got your test result. And I’m really sorry to tell you that it is positive for Ebola.”
Dr. Kent and Amber Brantly moved with their children to war-torn Liberia in the fall of 2013 to provide medical care for people in great need—to help replace hopelessness with hope. When, less than a year later, Kent contracted the deadly Ebola virus, hope became what he and Amber needed too.
When Kent received the diagnosis, he was already alone and in quarantine in the Brantly home in Liberia. Amber and the children had left just days earlier on a trip to the United States. Kent’s personal battle against the horrific Ebola began, and as thousands of people worldwide prayed for his life, a miraculous series of events unfolded.
Called for Life tells the riveting inside story of Kent and Amber’s call to serve their neighbors, as well as Kent’s fight for life with Ebola and Amber’s’ struggle to support him from half-a-world away. Most significantly, Called for Life reminds us of the risk, the honor, and the joy to be known when God and others are served without reservation.
Kent Brantly, the first American to contract and survive Ebola, tells his story in riveting detail; his wife, Amber, provides a kind of support harmony, relating her role as anguished spouse half a world away from her critically ill husband. The Brantlys were medical missionaries in Liberia he a doctor and she a nurse when Ebola erupted in West Africa in early 2014. Kent contracted the disease from a patient. The Brantlys' narrative provides a little personal history to help readers know them and understand their motivations (which are related to their faith) for working in Liberia, but the bulk of their story focuses on the epidemic and Kent's own illness, told in unvarnished detail with pacing that approaches a medical thriller. His survival raises medical, ethical, and theological questions; the mortality rate for infected Africans is far higher than for American medical personnel working with them. Brantly himself reflects on the meaning of his survival. Only one of his patients, a young boy, did not succumb to the disease. It's a page-turner that should also get readers thinking about God and the meaning of compassion.
Called for Life
As a registered nurse, I was very interested in Dr. and Mrs. Brantly's story as it was happening. The positive example that was reported moved many people as it did me. From reading the book and watching the Matt Lauer interview, I highly recommend this book as a testament to faith and a moving example of what science and faith can do together. This book has testified to me that there are still good people in this world; who listen to that still small voice in their lives both professional and personal. I highly recommend this book for both the behind the scenes medical story and the faith of the man who lived it. God bless Dr. Brantly and Amber as they live out their mission and raise their precious children together.
Kelly Garrett-Heaviland RN