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One of the deadliest known viruses in the world hit home on Sunday when a church congregation in Charlotte, N.C., learned one of its members and missionary, Nancy Writebol, tested positive for Ebola.
“You could almost hear the congregation gasp,” said Calvary Church Pastor John Munro, who delivered the news at the start of the service Sunday.
Munro said the wife and mother of two adult sons contracted Ebola while in Liberia and caring for those already infected with the disease. Writebol worked alongside Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, of Fort Worth, Texas, who also recently contracted the disease.
Nancy and her husband, David, have been doing missionary work in Liberia for the past year.
Munro told WSOC-TV in Charlotte that he learned Nancy wasn’t feeling well through the Baileys, close family friends of the couple.
“Nancy told us she had been ill for the past week and had flu-like symptoms,” explained Bill Bailey, outside his home in Charlotte on Sunday. “They told us Friday they thought she may have contracted malaria and were treating her for that.”
Bill said he and his wife had been staying in touch with the Writebols through Skype, but on Saturday night, he received the devastating phone call from Nancy’s husband.
“David called and said Nancy’s blood test came back positive for Ebola,” said Bailey, holding back tears. “It was the worst possible news you could expect to hear about your best friend. David isn’t able to go into the home they shared. Nancy is isolated and receiving treatment.”
When asked, Bailey said the Writebols remain strong in their faith despite the diagnosis.
“David said their fate was in God’s hands,” Bailey said. “If this is what it takes for more people to know Christ, then I know they would not object what God has ordained for them.”
Bailey said the family is asking for prayers.
On Saturday, Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief organization based in Boone, N.C., announced one of its doctors had tested positive for Ebola.
Ken Isaacs, a vice president of Samaritan's Purse, said that Dr. Kent Brantly — the 33-year-old medical director for the group's Ebola care center on the outskirts of the Liberian capital of Monrovia — was stable and in very serious condition.
"We are hopeful and prayerful," Isaacs said from the group headquarters. He said the doctor quickly recognized the symptoms and sought speedy treatment.
Isaacs, the group's vice president of program and government relations, said the fact that health care workers have been infected underscores the severity of the West Africa outbreak that has killed hundreds in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
"It's been a shock to everyone on our team to have two of our players get pounded with the disease," said Isaacs, adding health ministries in those poor nations are challenged to respond. "Our team is frankly getting tired."
The highly contagious virus is one of the most deadly diseases in the world. The World Health Organization said the outbreak is the largest ever recorded, killing more than 670 people in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since it began earlier this year.
Health workers are at serious risk of contracting the disease, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids.
Photos of Brantly working in Liberia show him in white coveralls made of a synthetic material that he wore for hours a day while treating Ebola patients.
There is no known cure for Ebola, which begins with symptoms including fever and sore throat and escalates to vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding. The WHO says the disease is not contagious until a person begins to show symptoms.
Brantly's wife and children had been living with him in Liberia but flew home to the U.S. about a week ago, before the doctor started showing any signs of illness, said Melissa Strickland, a spokeswoman for Samaritan's Purse.
"They have absolutely shown no symptoms," she said.
A woman who identified herself as Brantly's mother said the family was declining immediate comment when reached by phone in Indiana late Saturday.
Brantly is a graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine and went to Liberia as part of a two-year fellowship with Samaritan's Purse, shortly after he completed his residency in family medicine at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas.
"The caliber of a person like that who says, 'I'm going Africa, I'm going to where people need me the most,' it really speaks to you," Robert Earley, president and CEO of JPS Health Network, said Sunday. "It speaks to your heart."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:00:12 -0700
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is looking into a tense exchange between a pilot and an air-traffic controller.
According to WSB-TV – Atlanta, the exchange happened Friday when a controller told a pilot his plane was approaching the wrong taxiway.
“Hey, you know what? We’ll taxi out there any way we want unless you tell us to. I don’t like your attitude,” the pilot said.
“I don’t have an attitude; I’m just saying it looks like you joined Lima [a taxiway] instead of Mike [another taxiway], and I’m just trying to correct you before you stay on Lima,” the air-traffic controller responded.
"Like, oh my God, there's another plane out there, like six miles away. Your attitude is really something, sir. We're out here on Mike. Good morning,” the pilot said.
“Good morning. There was no attitude. I was just trying to correct you. That's my job to correct you if you mess up, and make sure everybody's doing what I ask them to do for certain reasons,” the air-traffic controller responded.
“All right, I make a mistake every two to three minutes, but my attitude is not like yours. We're out on Mike, and you didn't tell us how to get there, so next time you can try doing that,” the pilot said.
Another pilot on the same frequency can be heard telling the pilot, "Settle down, Capt. Happy."
Delta says customer safety was never in question.
A very special delivery came to two Bay Area families in quite an unusual way this weekend when two fathers delivered their sons on different parts of the same freeway.
Hanna Sahourieh and his wife, Naomi, of San Bruno, said they were headed to Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco on Friday morning, but their unborn son had other plans.
Sahourieh was forced to park his SUV on the split between Northbound 101 and Interstate 80 and deliver his son after his wife’s water broke when the couple was stuck in traffic.
“Right when I saw the head start to come out I just parked the car, jumped out, dodged traffic and started to get honked at,” he said.
Minutes later, Sahourieh delivered his son at 10:49 a.m. on the freeway.
“She pushed, (the baby) popped right out and he landed on my hand right there in the middle of the freeway in the car,” he said.
Mom said she was only focused on her baby and was glad to hear him cry.
“With my daughter, she didn’t cry at all,” Naomi said. “So when he came out and started crying, I was like, 'Oh my gosh! He’s good; he’s healthy.'"
Sahourieh drove his wife and son to Kaiser in San Francisco to make sure their 9-pound, 1-ounce bundle of joy was OK. Doctors let dad cut the umbilical cord in the car.
The couple named their son Jiries Hanna Sahourieh, but a family member nicknamed the newborn “Way-Way,” a nod to his freeway delivery. It’s a delivery his family will never forget.
“It’s just a blessing and he’s healthy so that’s all that matters,” Naomi said.
Although it is rare for families to have roadside deliveries, another father delivered his son on Saturday afternoon in Novato, also on Northbound 101, with the help of a dispatcher from the Marin County Communications Center.Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:33:09 -0700 News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories