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American Ebola Patient Dr. Rick Sacra Making Jokes, Asked for Bible

Dr. Rick Sacra's doctors warned during a news conference on Sunday that although their patient seems to be improving, he isn't "out of the woods."

The third American with Ebola to be treated in the U.S. is gaining energy but isn't "out of the woods," doctors treating him at a Nebraska medical center said Sunday, two days after he was transported there from Liberia. Dr. Rick Sacra, who was working with the aid organization SIM, has requested a Bible and chicken soup, and is engaging in jokes with his caregivers at the Nebraska Medical Center, said one of his doctors, Dr. Philip W. Smith.

But Smith warned that Ebola is a disease with phases. Smith said patients can begin to improve, but then "get into other medical complications." The experimental drug that was used on medical missionaries who had Ebola, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, is no longer available, but Smith said Sacra was receiving a different "research drug." Smith said doctors at the Nebraska Medical Center was also considering giving Sacra a blood transfusion from a recovered Ebola patient, which has proven effective in some other cases. Sacra, an Ebola doctor himself, has been "one of our best sources," Smith said. "He’s been able to give us a number of tips."



— Elisha Fieldstadt