by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An SIM missionary doctor has arrived in Nebraska after being evacuated from Liberia where he contracted Ebola while working in a maternity ward.
SPECIAL SECTION: Ebola outbreak
“Rick is clearly sick but he was in very good spirits and he walked on to the plane,” Rick Sacra’s wife Debbie said.
Debbie said their family is praying that her husband gets better so he can continue his life-saving work in Liberia.
“But he would want you to know that he would not be afraid to pass into eternal life with the Lord. Not because he has done good works but because of the death of Christ on his behalf,” Sacra said.
He arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha around 7:30 a.m. Friday. He was taken to the bio-containment patient care unit similar to the one at Emory Hospital where another SIM missionary recovered.
IMAGES: Ebola survivor Nancy Writebol speaks for first time
“The bio-containment center is built for this sort of event,” Medical Director Dr. Phil Smith said. “It was inspired by the SARS outbreak of 2003.”
Smith said the facility has a special air-flow unit and dozens of staff members trained to treat Ebola.
“The idea is that we can give this person first-class care in an environment that provides for the optimal safety,” Smith said.
But back in Liberia, the number of people infected continues to grow.
“As Rick wrote to his medical colleagues, this epidemic is a wildfire about to rage out of control,” Sacra said.
READ: Ebola survivor from Charlotte speaks for first time
Nancy Writebol, the other SIM missionary who contracted Ebola, was given a serum that may have helped her recover. There is no more of that particular serum left. But doctors at the Nebraska facility said they’ll be looking at other possible treatment options.
WATCH the full interview with Dr. Richard Besser
The virus that has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, not through casual contact.
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