BOSTON (CBS) – The family of a Worcester doctor diagnosed with the Ebola virus in Liberia is asking for prayers for a full recovery.
SIM USA announced on Wednesday that missionary doctor Rick Sacra, who is from Holden and practices medicine at Family Health Center in Worcester, was diagnosed with the Ebola virus while delivering babies in the obstetrics unit of SIM’s ELWA hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.
Sacra’s wife, Debbie, says he began experiencing a fever on Friday and he isolated himself.
“He was admitted to the Ebola case management center associated with the hospital where he has served for 15 years,” Debbie Sacra said in a statement Wednesday.
Debbie says she is surrounded by friends and family who are “praying fervently” for Rick’s recovery.
“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,” Sacra said in the statement. “West Africa is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis and the world needs to respond compassionately and generously.”
Sacra’s brother Doug Sacra told WBZ-TV’s Katie Brace that he spoke by telephone to Rick on Monday.
Rick told Doug that he was experiencing signs of Ebola. Doug said he does not know the latest on his brother’s condition, adding that SIM USA is handling those details.
According to Doug, Rick and his family moved to Liberia in 1995. They lived there until recently when they moved back to the U.S. so his three sons could attend high school and college here.
Since his return to the Worcester area, Rick has spent time in both countries. His most recent trip about one month ago was to re-open a hospital to help patients needing medical treatment.
Though Doug said Rick was not in Liberia to treat Ebola patients, he added that he did have that the ability to do so if needed.
According to his brother, Rick grew up in Wayland and wanted to be a missionary doctor since he was 10 years old. Rick is a Christian motivated by his beliefs, Doug added.
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON