FORT WORTH, Texas - Former colleagues and fellow congregants are raising money and accepting donations for Dr. Kent Brantly, the Texas-trained doctor who survived Ebola.
A fund established by JPS Health System, where Brantly completed his family medicine residency, has attracted more than 80 donations from a dozen states and Australia, many with hand-written messages, according to the hospital.
One said, "Dr. Kent, you are the face of Christ in the world."
Another donor thanked him for his "courageous work."
The JPS fund is intended to help the Brantlys replace personal and household items they were forced to leave behind in West Africa.
"Back in Liberia, Dr. Brantly was isolated when Ebola symptoms appeared and was never able to return to their home," read a statement released by JPS. "Everything in their home is considered contaminated by Ebola and will be destroyed."
The Southside Church of Christ, where the Brantlys attended service while living in Fort Worth, is collecting a separate, cash fund "for whatever they need," said church elder Kent Smith.
The following Sunday, the preacher led a prayer for Brantly's health and then held a separate get-together "to minister to or comfort our own members," Smith said.
Brantly's mother-in-law Lisa Carroll said the couple had not wanted to solicit funds, but may be working with Samaritan's Purse to continue to publicize the continued struggles of Ebola patients and health workers in West Africa.
"He's become quite passionate about the whole thing," she said.
According to the CDC, the Ebola outbreak that has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa and infected thousands more could last another six months.
Brantly addressed the continuous struggle in a statement he made while still in isolation at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.
"Thank you for your prayers for Nancy and me," Brantly said. "Please continue to pray for and bring attention to those suffering in the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa. Their fight is far from over."
Brantly was discharged Thursday with a clean bill of health, though he will take time to recuperate from effects of the virus.
Upon leaving Emory he said that he and his family would take a break, but Carroll said he will likely continue to cooperate with Emory researchers and the Centers for Disease Control in the future.
If you would like to donate to the JPS fund that has been set up for the family you can visit their site here. You can donate any amount to the fund by clicking on the "Give a Gift" button, where a drop down menu allows you to choose "Dr. Kent Brantly and Family" as the designation of your donation.
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