- Associated Press - Thursday, August 21, 2014

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Former colleagues and fellow congregants are raising money and accepting donations for Dr. Kent Brantly, the Texas-trained doctor who survived Ebola.

A fund established by JPS Health System, where Brantly completed his family medicine residency, has attracted more than 80 donations from a dozen states and Australia, many with hand-written messages, according to the hospital.

One said, “Dr. Kent, you are the face of Christ in the world.”

Another donor thanked him for his “courageous work.”

The JPS fund is intended to help the Brantlys replace personal and household items they were forced to leave behind in West Africa.

The Southside Church of Christ, where the Brantlys attended service while living in Fort Worth, is collecting a separate, cash fund “for whatever they need,” said church elder Kent Smith, adding that the church learned of Brantly’s condition from a congregant who was among many close friends of the Brantlys.

The following Sunday, the preacher led an extemporaneous prayer for Brantly’s health and then held a separate get-together “to minister to or comfort our own members,” Smith said.

Brantly’s mother-in-law Lisa Carroll said the couple had not wanted to solicit funds, but may be working with Samaritan’s Purse to continue to publicize the continued struggles of Ebola patients and health workers in West Africa. “He’s become quite passionate about the whole thing,” she said.

Brantly was discharged from an Atlanta hospital Thursday after treatment for Ebola, which he contracted as a medical missionary with Samaritan’s Purse in Liberia.

Upon leaving Emory he said that he and his family would take a break, but Carroll said he will likely continue to cooperate with Emory researchers and the Centers for Disease Control.