Recovered Ebola Victim 'Thankful to Be Alive'

Nancy Writebol credits her recovery to her faith and God, the support of those around her, and the experimental drug ZMapp.
8:27 | 09/03/14

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Transcript for Recovered Ebola Victim 'Thankful to Be Alive'
I was playing down. And down he came in east Nancy and I want to tell you something's and I said okay and he sat. Want to tell you that -- doctor Brantley. Is able -- test has come back and it's toss -- -- Which. It was hard hearing Kent because we ever really great relationship. And it was hard to hear that. And then and then -- had come. And Nancy you have -- ball -- also. And I remember. Getting up out of the bed. And David wanting to put his arms around me and give me a really great -- And I just pushed him away not wanting him to get sex and I said David it's -- be okay it's going to be okay. I'm Michelle Franzen in new York and for the first time we are hearing from Nancy rightful she's the woman who recently recovered. From the Ebola Virus that she contracted in Liberia -- was treated along with doctor -- Brantley her colleague at Emory university hospital in Atlanta. Bradley also recovered and is back with his family want to bring -- ABC's chief health and medical editor doctor Richard -- are now. And you also spoke with the -- -- yesterday. First of all let's talk a little bit about her amazing story her amazing journey she said very dark days there along with some very uplifting days what did you hear from her -- well. If it is it. -- very inspiring story her her story of of picking up this disease while -- working in Liberia trying to help people. Her descent into near death and then her emergence through through her treatment to two recovery. I was just blown away by Howell. Vibrant -- -- here's she is just a few weeks. Out of the hospital and the energy that is there that the passion for the work that she was doing in their desire to go back. And do more come comes through and as a couple. Interacting with them they. They get so much strength from from each other there's so much love -- between the two of them. It it's clear that that that support was very important -- her. Coverage and let's talk about this though because she said her -- during her darkest periods when she was on her way to Atlanta she didn't know if she was going to even. Make it home if she would see your husband again. Paraphrasing her words so she's certainly. Physically was feeling very weak at that time in the virus has taken hold. But yes you mentioned how vibrant she is two weeks after leaving. Emory hospital and she said that she credits you know her great care along with hear the question of whether they thought that. And that virus medicines he map may have helped she credit creditor care her -- everything -- -- -- for giving her that strength. -- eight exactly and and at this point it's it's very hard to to know what impact did the drug cat. -- -- new animal studies that -- very promising. There are number of people it's five or six who have received this drug some have survived in and some have not. And and it's very important that the drug be produced at a level where it can be studied formally to know. Where there really isn't -- the -- -- there are very encouraging. But it is clear that early treatment treatment with fluids replacing all of those fluids that are lost during this illness. Is a very important part in in in recovery. And -- goal in West Africa is to trying get enough medical personnel enough facilities to be able to improve the outcome -- for people in these. Was in an area medical facility delivering babies that wasn't even near the able treatments -- that that does since. -- me greatly it's it's one thing to be in a setting where you know you're gonna be exposed to -- -- you can take those precautions and in terms of wearing. That that protective equipment to reduce your chances of exposure. But this was in a maternity ward and that's a setting where it's very different -- where that equipment. You don't expect that your gonna be regularly exposed to -- -- -- And here he be he became ill and I worry that it's going to. Dampen the interest of of others to go and served inaudible -- settings. This is a country where did for the entire country of Liberia at the start of this there were there were only about fifty doctors and maternity care -- a bullet Carrey is critically important. Do -- is this is a situation which more people could die from things not related to a bowl because of the lack of care that's available then -- actually died due to the epidemic. And doctor -- of course we heard from CDC's doctor Tom -- yesterday -- sending out a warning call for global response. And you just mentioned that there could be other medical workers that might be to to work from helping out our resources and we've also. You know to bring -- -- full circle heard from Nancy -- again it seems like she was sort of you know saying this area still needs the help despite what happened to me she almost sounds as if she would go back herself -- we heard about that. She said to me that that -- she will wait to see where we're god tells her to go but that she would be willing to go back to Liberia. And I asked Bruce Johnston about this he's the head of SI -- and I said. -- here -- sent people into harm's way some people of gotten sick what if somebody died would you would you send people back. And he compared this to a battle to a war and he's -- when -- fighting a war. And you lose a soldier you don't pull out of the war you understand that did. That that's about potential complication that you will lose lives when you're fighting a battle. But if the battle is just you fight that battle and that's what they feel is is the case with with a bola and be successful here we have to understand. That it's gonna take a massive number of people to assist and that some people will will get a -- And a bullet can kill those that infects that she also says indirectly it's killing many more explain -- -- -- well think about all of the reasons that people go in for medical care -- went to John F. Kennedy hospital there in the emergency room was closed. So no one for trauma care no one with malaria children I'm a pediatrician children with pneumonia who need oxygen. Who need fluid -- nutrition they're not getting that care. And pregnancy delivery delivery is a critically. Important time in a woman's life it's a time where if you don't have a trained attended. And something goes wrong a woman can lose her life if these things are taking place because of the fear of a bola. It can lead to the loss of lives and and that's an additional tragedy on top of this epidemic. So is fear -- also one of the biggest hurdles that not only medical workers but. Society has to overcome when we're dealing with this virus -- -- Fear is something to overcome but this is a setting where in in medical settings the fear is justified. You know I hear a lot of Americans here expressing fear Ruble and I hope that the more information they get the more they'll understand that this is really not. A true risk to the United States but fear in health care settings in West Africa is -- -- I saw people who are working in the able award making their own protective equipment they were cutting. Different pieces of equipment to fashion their own protective gear because they don't have enough. So there -- fears justified -- -- they need you have the proper equipment. To reduce the chances they're gonna get the disease but fear in settings here is not justified I worry that fear inaudible -- settings in West Africa. Can have terrible consequences. ABC's chief health and medical editor doctor Richard -- I know that you will be following this thanks so much for joining us. And we are also going to let you know that you can download that ABC news happened follow this story in real time. Just click on the story for those exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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