BRISTOL, Tenn. - If you were a medical professional, would you be willing to go into one of the countries where an Ebola outbreak has taken place?
Many have and are still willing to put their own lives at risk to help others, including the Christian Medical and Dental Associations headquartered in Bristol. Why do these people put themselves at risk?
Dr. Kent Brantley is one of two American missionaries trying to recover from an Ebola infection contracted in Liberia. He got some of his missionary training before leaving right here in Bristol at the Christian Medical and Dental Association.
"The world is calling him a hero for what he did, but this is normal Christianity. We think its abnormal for people to do this, but Christians have been doing this for thousands of years. The Bible tells us to love your neighbor as yourself," says chief executive officer Dr. David Stevens.
Even if that neighbor is half way around the world where a highly infectious disease is taking lives everyday. Steven tells us that's even if it's halfway around the world, we should be concerned. "It is a concern, absolutely. Is it something that we should be terrorized of and afraid? No, because we know how to contain this. Supportive treatment helps in survival, there's some experimental drugs that seem to make a difference and we need to take the proper precautions but not go into a state of hysteria," Dr. Stevems said.
It's those missions that are making a difference in far away places. Be it disease or violence, these health care professionals revealed to us that it's a risk worth taking. "I could be killed crossing 421 tonight or I could be killed halfway around the world trying to save people who are in desperate need. Which one would you rather have? I'd rather be doing something that's going to make a difference, not just in my life but in the lives of other people," Dr. Stevens said.
At least they can say they're doing something to ease the suffering.