The third American to have contracted the Ebola virus, Dr. Rick Sacra, is from Massachusetts.
Dr. Jackson Williams, who works at Baystate Medical Center, said that Sacra was a mentor to him during his time in Liberia.
Williams said he hoped for a speedy recovery for Sacra. Before leaving for Liberia three years ago, Williams said he was mentored and befriended by Sacra.
"He's an absolutely fantastic physician, really nice person and he's impressively dedicated a large portion of his career over the last 20 years to working in Liberia," Williams said.
Unfortunately, Sacra contracted Ebola while doing missions work in Liberia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Monday.
"This really is a very serious situation in West Africa and every week it seems to be getting worse in terms of the number of cases that are being seen," Williams said.
Williams spent a total of about six months over the past three years in Liberia, helping care for its citizens.
"Unfortunately, Liberia only has one doctor per 100,000 population versus here in Massachusetts we have nearly 500 doctors per 100,000 population," Williams said. "And so there is just such a need in terms of not enough doctors, not enough nurses, not enough healthcare workers."
Williams said he is working to help doctors in West Africa from right here in Western Massachusetts, sending medical supplies to them so they can care for those in Liberia.
"It is tough because I obviously have a job and a career here at Baystate, but it is tough seeing how much suffering and how much need there is over there in Liberia right now."
Williams said he hopes Sacra recovers quickly and that together they can continue helping those in need.
"I've just been so impressed to his dedication to the work in Liberia," he said.
Williams said they've sent about $50,000 worth of medical supplies over to Liberia and will continue to do so.
Sacra, meanwhile, will return to the United States and will be treated in Nebraska.
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