OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A doctor who became infected with Ebola while working in Liberia visited Saturday with two of his family members at the Nebraska hospital where he’s receiving treatment, a spokesman said.
Debbie Sacra and the couple’s oldest son interacted with Dr. Rick Sacra for about 25 minutes Saturday via a video link, according to Nebraska Medical Center spokesman Taylor Wilson.
Sacra, 51, is the third American aid worker to be sickened with the virus and is being treated in a 10-bed special isolation unit.
Debbie Sacra said in a news release from the center that she was relieved to see her husband.
“He asked for something to eat and had a little chicken soup,” she said, adding that he did not remember much from Friday, when he first arrived.
Wilson told The Associated Press on Saturday that Rick Sacra’s condition was unchanged from the day before, when he was deemed sick but in stable condition.
Sacra, a doctor from Worcester, Massachusetts, spent 15 years working at the Liberia hospital where he fell ill. He said he felt compelled to return after hearing that two other missionaries with the North Carolina-based charity SIM with whom he’d worked were sick. He delivered babies at the hospital, and was not involved in the treatment of Ebola patients, so it’s unclear how he became infected with the virus.
An estimated 2,100 people have died during the outbreak, but Ebola has not been confirmed as the cause for all of the deaths.
In her statement Saturday, Debbie Sacra thanked the hospital staff and said she said she and her husband were most interested in keeping the focus on the outbreak in West Africa.
“The story is the crisis in West Africa. That is what is most important,” she said. “The world is coming to this fight late.”