An American missionary who recently was healed from the deadly Ebola virus spoke out about her miraculous recovery for the first time as reports surfaced that yet another American has contracted the horrific virus that has claimed over 1,900 lives in four Western African countries.
Dr. Rick Sacra was diagnosed with Ebola while working in a maternity ward in West Africa with SIM. Currently, SIM is working with the CDC to determine how the 51-year-old physician became infected, as he was not working directly with Ebola patients.
"Rick would want me to urge you to remember that there are many people in Liberia who are suffering in this epidemic and others who are not receiving standard healthcare because clinics and hospitals have been forced to close," Debbie Sacra, Rick's wife, said in a statement. "West Africa is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis and the world needs to respond compassionately and generously."
The international Christian mission organization has also announced Wednesday that Dr. Sacra is being flown back to the US for treatment. He is expected to arrive Friday morning in Nebraska, and begin treatment at the The Nebraska Medical Center's Biocontainment Patient Care Unit in Omaha.
Meanwhile, two weeks after being released from Emory University Hospital, Nancy Writebol appeared with her husband David and the president of SIM, Bruce Johnson to speak at a news conference at the SIM USA headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.
"I had no clue what was going to happen," Writebol said after learning she had tested positive for Ebola. "I thought, I don't know if I'm going to make it to the United States. I don't know if I will ever see my dear husband again."
Writebol, who was working as a CNA with SIM when infected, was transported from Liberia to Atlanta, Georgia, where she received an experimental drug and further treatment from doctors at Emory University Hospital. Before leaving Liberia, one doctor put his hands on Writebol's face and said, "Nancy, we're taking you home."
"I felt the Lord. I said yes, Lord. You are enough," Writebol said. "I want to express ... my appreciation to the Lord for His grace, for His mercy, and for His saving of my life. There were many mornings I woke up and thought, 'I'm alive!' And there were many times when I thought, 'I don't think I'm going to make it anymore.'"
The Writebols, who have served as missionaries for many years, so they are not afraid of returning to Africa, if that is where God calls them.
"We want to see our children and our grandchildren, and we are looking forward to what God has for us in our next mission," the couple said.
"This is not our story, this is God's story," Writebol said. "God is writing this."