Ebola Survivor Dr. Kent Brantly Donates Blood to Ashoka Mukpo
- Nebraska 10/08/2014 (NBC News)
Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly testifies before a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington September 17. Photo: Reuters
The first American flown back to the U.S. after contracting Ebola has donated blood to an NBC News freelance cameraman who was also diagnosed with the virus. Photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo’s family told NBC News early Wednesday that Dr. Kent Brantly was contacted by the Nebraska Medical Center and asked to give plasma.
Experts hope the survivor’s antibodies will kick-start Mukpo's immune system. Brantly was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from the medical center telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s. Within minutes, he stopped off at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and his donation was flown to Omaha.
Brantly, who continues to work for Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse, also donated blood to Ebola-stricken aid worker Dr. Rick Sacra. He subsequently recovered. Mukpo's father Dr. Mitchell Levy was touched by Brantly's intervention. "This act of kindness and generosity makes me believe in the goodness of humanity," he told NBC News.
Mukpo is being given an experimental drug called brincidofovir, which has never been used on Ebola patients. “We are in a brave new world here,” Dr. Angela Hewlett, associate medical director at the Nebraska Medical Center, told NBC News.