Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Review: Called for Life by Kent and Amber Brantly

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.   All opinions are my own.  This post may contain affiliate links.


I think the whole world was watching when Kent Brantly stepped out of an ambulance to be admitted to Emory Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  The headlines read that Ebola had reached American soil. Many people prayed for him, and many more were terrified about what it would mean to have someone in America with Ebola.  I'm not a prepper, but I decided to do my annual winter food shopping trip a little earlier than usual.  You never know.  I had been watching the situation in Africa unfold, and I didn't know might happen.

But behind the prayers, fear, and apprehension, there were people.  Two of those people were Kent and Amber Brantly.  Where there are people, there are stories -- true accounts of what they experienced.   This is the book I am sure they never dreamed of writing and wish they didn't have the story that is told in these pages.

Dr. Brantly was a medical missionary in Liberia.  I think that would have to be one of the toughest jobs in the best of times, and I read through this book and envisioned all the death and disease among the people he cared for, I wondered how he could go on.  I have heard that sometimes courage is just not giving up, and I have to say Dr. Brantly is one of the most courageous people I have ever encountered through the pages of a book.  Disease, death, fear of the foreigners who were trying to help, and not enough medical supplies -- or workers took their toll on everyone, but thankfully not all workers contracted Ebola.

The scene I remember most from this book is the workers at the hospital decided to remove the body of an Ebola victim while the body was still at its most contagious.  The reason was a relative of hers was in a bed near hers.  When Dr. Brantly states in the book he thought as he was doing it -- "This is the most dangerous thing I have ever done."  It shows his courage and compassion.  I can't imagine ever being in a room of Ebola patients, let alone moving a body when it was most likely to give others the infection -- for the mental well being of another dying person.

Amber Brantly was in the United States for a wedding when her husband contracted the disease.  Yet, her anguish of her husband likely dying on the other side of the world and her not being able to ever see him again, hold his hand, or even bury him.  The two accounts weave together to create an unforgettable book.

I can't say I enjoyed this book because of the subject matter, but I found it facinating.  I didn't want to put it down.  I highly recommend this!



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