WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. missionary being treated for Ebola and her quarantined husband could still return to Liberia after her recovery and his temporary isolation, their son said.
In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday, Jeremy Writebol said his parents, David and Nancy, still feel called to serve and could return to their Christian mission work in West Africa.
“This is what they’ve been called to do and this is what they feel in their heart,” he said.
“It won’t be an easy decision for them but I won’t be surprised,” he said of their potential return.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based couple were in Liberia along with other Christian missionaries helping to care for patients at a SIM USA hospital on Monrovia amid the worst outbreak of the Ebola virus on record. More than 1,000 people in West Africa have died.
Nancy Writebol returned last week and is being treated for Ebola in isolation at Emory University’s hospital in Atlanta. A colleague of Writebol‘s, Dr. Kent Brantly, also is being treated for Ebola at Emory.
On Monday, their Christian group SIM USA said David Writebol had returned from overseas and was in temporary quarantine in North Carolina along with other missionaries to ensure they did not contract the deadly virus while in Liberia.
Jeremy Writebol said he has been able to visit his mother twice a day through a glass partition and that doctors are cautiously optimistic about her recovery, although there may be some lingering effects.
“She’s been doing well. She has been getting physically better,” he told NBC, describing his visits as emotional and saying his mother is now “smiling, even joking a little bit.”
“There might be small things - just physically the body gets destroyed - but they do feel that recovery is going to be complete.”
Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott