The third American missionary to be infected with the Ebola virus is now back in the United States for treatment.
Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, arrived early Friday morning at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha in special biocontainment unit after he was evacuated from Liberia.
“Our patient is sick but stable and we are taking appropriate care of this patient,” said Dr. Mark Rupp, chief of infectious diseases at the hospital in a news conference. “We know that he is seriously ill with a virus that has a very high mortality rate associated with it. We are looking for alternatives to some of our experimental therapeutics right now.”
Sacrum, a physician, divides his time between Liberia and Boston, Massachusetts where he lives with his wife Debbie and two children.
SIM, the missions organization for whom Sacra was working, sent Sacra into Liberia early in August to provide assistance during the relocation of missionaries who needed a break in the Ebola fight.
He was not treating Ebola patients in the hospital’s isolation unit, however. The group said in a statement that it isn’t known how the doctor was infected. The doctor isolated himself as soon as he developed symptoms.
SIM released a statement Friday saying Sacra sent them the following email:
“To all of you at SIM, and to my colleagues here in Liberia at ELWA Hospital, I apologize. (He didn’t want to bother us with this, because of his concern that it not disrupt the patient care at our ELWA Hospital. Will can share more about our work there in Liberia).
Rick went on to say, “Regarding evacuation: I know and accept that there is no easy solution for an evacuation, so I don´t expect one. Jesus is right here with me in Liberia! And Dr. Brown, our SIM/ELWA medical director, has a lot of experience now. And the ELWA 2 unit has been discharging a lot of alive patients. I know that with or without evacuation, I could well die from this disease. And frankly, my main concerns are for Debbie and my boys, and for the ministry of SIM and how that would affect things. I can only trust that God is at work.”