KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The first American to be treated for Ebola traveled through Kansas City on Tuesday and donated blood for the NBC cameraman who contracted the disease in Liberia.
On Tuesday, Dr. Kent Brantly was traveling from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from the Nebraska Medical Center where freelance photojournalist Ashoka Mukpo is being treated for the deadly disease. Doctors informed Brantly his blood type matched Mukpo's and asked him to donate plasma, which he did at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City. Brantly was at the blood center on Tuesday for two to three hours.
“Yesterday was such an extraordinary experience for our team to be able to pull together and to give someone hope that may not have any other hope than this," Patsy Shipley with the Community Blood Bank said in an interview with FOX 4's Matt Stewart Wednesday morning.
Brantly's plasma was flown to Omaha around 7 p.m. Tuesday. Doctors are hoping Brantly's antibodies will help rejuvenate Mukpo's immune system.
Shipley said extracting Brantly's blood never posed a safety threat, as he no longer carries the Ebola virus.
"We would treat him like we treat everyone," she said. "We take universal precautions."
Doctors have previously used Brantly's blood to treat another Ebola patient, Dr. Rick Sacra. He has since recovered.
As for photojournalist Mukpo, he is said to be "reasonably stable," but a doctor cautioned it's too early to say he's out of the woods. In addition to Brantly's plasma, Mukpo is also receiving an experimental drug called brincidofovir, or CMX001.
The CDC reports 3,439 people have died from the disease in West Africa.