FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - For the first time in nearly a month, Fort Worth doctor Kent Brantly is out of the hospital. Nancy Writebol, a colleague of his who also contracted Ebola, was released Tuesday.
There was joy for Brantly as he left Emory hospital Thursday. He gave his team of doctors a round of high fives.
Kent Brantley spent weeks recovering from deadly Ebola and now he leaves the Atlanta hospital for time alone with his family. His church family hopes to welcome him back soon after having their prayers answered.
Members of Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth eagerly awaited the first sight of Kent Brantly who emerged in front of cameras as a rare survivor of Ebola.
"Today is a miraculous day. I'm thrilled to be alive, to be well," said Brantly during his press conference.
One of Brantly's church members, who has prayed for his recovery, is overwhelmed with joy at the sight of healthy Brantly.
"I'm not a teary person, but I was fighting back," said Smith. "He looked exactly the same as last time I saw him. He looks great!"
For the first time, the Fort Worth doctor described in his own words, those first few harrowing days when he contracted the deadly disease while treating others on a missionary trip.
"On Wednesday, July 23rd, I woke up feeling under the weather, and then my life took an unexpected turn as I was diagnosed with the Ebola virus disease. As I lay in my bed in Liberia for the following 9 days getting
sicker and weaker each day, I prayed that God would help me be faithful even in my illness," explained Brantly.
Members of the Brantly's church prayed that he would recover and on Thursday he offered thanks for those prayers during a news conference surrounded by the doctors and nurses who saved his life.
"I am incredibly thankful to all of those involved in my care, from the first day of my illness all the way up to today, the day of my release from Emory," said Brantly.
Brantly and his wife have a home in Abilene but plan to go away for an undisclosed amount of time after doctors concluded he was well and no longer a threat to spread the virus.
"We have determined that Dr. Brantly has recovered from the Ebola virus infection, and that he can return to his family, community and to his life, without concern for spreading this infection to others," said Dr. Bruce Ribner during the press conference.
After getting compliments from friends watching from across the country, Brantly and his wife left the hospital with a second chance at life and with a wish for those they left behind a world away.
"Please don't stop praying for the people in Liberia and West Africa."
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
for more features.