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SIM USA President Bruce Johnson Addresses Media Upon Arrival of Ebola Patient Nancy Writebol at Emory University Hospital

Family Expresses Gratitude and Relief for Her Safe Return to the U.S.

Contact: Palmer Holt, 704-662-2569

ATLANTA, Ga., Aug. 5, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, SIM missionary and Ebola patient Nancy Writebol arrived at Emory University Hospital from Liberia for treatment. SIM (www.simusa.org) held a press conference upon her arrival to update media on her condition.

Photo: SIM USA President Bruce Johnson addresses media at press conference today in Atlanta.  Johnson gave latest updates on SIM missionary Nancy Writebol's condition, as well as statements from her husband, David, who is still in Liberia, and son Jeremy.  Nancy Writebol, along with Samaritan's Purse doctor Kent Brantly, contracted Ebola in Liberia and were flown to the U.S. for treatment at Emory University Hospital.

According to Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, Writebol is settling in at the medical facility. Her sons, Jeremy and Brian, will be able to visit her. Her husband, David, still remains in Liberia, but will join his wife in Atlanta as soon as he can.

Johnson's update was based on a phone conversation he had with David Writebol an hour before the press conference.  He attributed his statements to Writebol. 

"Nancy is still very, very weak, but shows continued, but slow improvement," said Johnson. "She is showing signs of progress and moving in the right direction."

"Nancy had yogurt before getting on the plane," Johnson continued. "When she was put aboard the aircraft about 1 a.m. Monrovia time today, they took her there on a stretcher, but she could stand up and walk with assistance onto the plane."

"We still have a long way to go, but we have reason to hope," he said. 

Johnson said David Writebol expressed his gratitude for his wife's return to the U.S.

"Nancy and I are profoundly grateful to the U.S. government and all the machinery that was marshaled on our behalf and what it took to get her home," said Writebol. "I am very happy.  And I am extremely grateful. I am not anxious, fretful or fearful -- just relieved."

"A week ago we were thinking about making funeral arrangements for Nancy," Writebol continued. "Now we have a real reason to be hopeful."

"The degree of care for Nancy in Liberia was extraordinary," he said. "It's not like having a nurse come in every hour to fluff up your pillow.  It's more like going into a nuclear reactor.  The suits are clumsy, hot and uncomfortable.  But it was like watching the love of Christ take place right before your eyes."

Nancy Writebol's family continues to ask for prayers.

"We are tremendously relieved that our mother is back in the U.S.," Jeremy Writebol said in a statement.  "We know that she will receive the best medical care possible at Emory University Hospital. We're grateful to everyone who has joined us in praying for this moment. Please continue to pray for her and for Dr. Kent Brantly."

The latest updates on Writebol's condition and SIM's role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available at www.simusa.org.

SIM is an international Christian mission with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers serving in more than 65 countries. In addition to medicine, SIM serves on every continent in areas of education, community development, public health and Christian witness. While SIM stood for Sudan Interior Mission when it was founded 120 years ago, it is now a global mission known as SIM. Two of SIM's three founders died of disease within the first year of the organization's founding. Yet SIM continued on to become one of the largest Christian medical missions in the world.

To schedule an interview with Bruce Johnson, president of SIM USA, contact Palmer Holt at 704-662-2569 or pholt@inchristcommunications.com