Dr. Rick Sacra of Holden who was volunteering at a Liberia hospital is infected with Ebola. He becomes the third American aid worker to contract the virus. Sacra, 51, was scheduled to fly back to Liberia last week, but he flew there in August. “When he said he was going back early I wasn’t surprised, we all knew it was a difficult situation. He asked for prayers and I know I promised them,” said Frances Anthes, who runs the Family Health Center of Worcester where Sacra is a family physician.
His supervisor at Worcester Dr. Gregory Culley shares that Sacra is the closest thing that a living human-being can be to being a saint. Sacra and his family that includes his wife and three sons have kept an eye on the latest development on the health care disaster in Liberia. The family have been working many years in USA as medical missionaries.
Sacra, his wife and his three sons have spent years in the country as medical missionaries, and Sacra had been in close touch with colleagues in Liberia all summer about the unfolding health care catastrophe there.
According to Culley, Sacra shared with him that he handled complicated deliveries from all over the country, and was not treating known Ebola patients.
“In all the previous emails I had been asking him about protective clothing and he hadn’t answered me. But in that email he said the protective clothing had arrived. So I assumed that up until that email last week he wasn’t wearing protective clothing,” Culley said
Sacra’s brother Doug Sacra stated, “When you’re dealing with someone with a significant illness and you’re a doctor and a you’re Christian, you might hold someone’s hand when you pray for them, you might put your hand on their shoulder. When you’re totally covered in a gown and goggles and gloves and they can’t even understand you through your mask, its difficult being a compassionate doctor.”
Sacra plans to start a family residency program for Liberian doctors at the hospital where he is now a patient.