CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the first time since he arrived back in Charlotte, David Writebol talked publicly about his time in Africa, and his wife Nancy, who's come down with the Ebola virus.
David was in quarantine Wednesday evening at SIM headquarters in southwest Charlotte. There are several missionaries in quarantine there; each person has to stay quarantined 3 weeks after their last possible exposure to the Ebola virus.
In an interview with reporters via Skype, David Writebol described what it was like to be with his wife Nancy in Liberia, after she came down with the Ebola virus.
"I was in personal protection equipment," he said. "I patted her to let her know I was there and I loved her and that was an encouragement to her and a lift to me."
David hasn't seen his wife since she got on a plane to Atlanta to get treatment. But he's talked to her. "I've spoken with Nancy earlier in the day and last night. Each time we've spoken she sounds better and stronger."
Writebol and the others are staying quarantined in RVs in the woods behind SIM headquarters. They can mingle, go for walks and play games, but have to stay at least three feet apart as a precaution.
"It's like being in your favorite campground in the woods," Writebol said. "We are together as we were in Liberia, we just don't have the beach."
He says it's too early to know exactly how his wife contracted Ebola. "[Nancy] was very detailed and meticulous about her work, and trained others to do the decontamination work and to keep the medical staff safe," he said.
David and the other missionaries at SIM have no symptoms of Ebola. He did talk about a feeling of helplessness as Ebola spreads throughout West Africa, and he was asked directly whether he'd ever go back to Liberia.
"We go where God leads us," he said.
Quarantine technically means the people here are not sick.
But they're being monitored, having their temperature taken and being monitored for symptoms like head or muscle aches. So far, everybody's just been jet lagged since getting back Sunday.
Since everybody started quarantine at different times, they'll leave at different times. When David leaves, he'll head straight to Atlanta to see his son and his wife.