Only a handful of people in the United States know first-hand what Ebola-infected doctor Craig Spencer is going through right now. One of them is Dr. Richard Sacra, a missionary who was infected in Liberia.
Although Sacra is free of the Ebola virus, he still feels its stigma out in public, reports CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. Sacra said he thinks people are thinking, "That's that Ebola guy."
After a brief bout with a respiratory infection earlier this month, Dr. Sacra is now on the mend.
"When I got my medical records a week ago, and really started looking through them, I was like, 'Wow. I was right on the edge,'" Sacra said. "I'm just now beginning to feel like I can start exercising, start building up my stamina."
While Sacra said he wasn't working in the Ebola unit of the ELWA Hospital in Liberia, some of the pregnant women he was treating were very ill.
"None of them had all the signs and symptoms of Ebola, but some of them had been in labor for a week," he said.
Among them, one woman came to his mind.
"This particular woman, who I think is the most likely, was actually HIV positive and didn't know it. But I now suspect that she also had come down with Ebola and didn't know that either," Sacra said.
On Sept. 5, Sacra arrived at the Nebraska Medical Center for treatment. For three weeks, he was kept in an isolation room.
He described how he was able to interact with his wife.
"Because of the way their unit is built, she could never come in and look at me through the glass," Sacra said. "We could never have a direct line of sight. It was always just on the computer."
His wife asked him, "How are you?"
"It's funny... I don't actually recall saying this, but the nurses reported and confirmed this, that I said, 'Well, honey, this is not my favorite case of Ebola.'"
The first time he walked out of his isolation unit, his wife and children were waiting for him.
"It was just wonderful, just to have a hug. I don't know how long we hugged for -- five minutes," Sacra said.
Sacra said he wants to go back to Liberia, which he calls his second home.
"In Liberia alone, we've lost almost a 100 health care workers," he said. "It's going to take time to rebuild that health system."
Sacra said it is almost like war, and he's lost good friends during this battle.
"I'm praying about early next year. If the Lord will give me my strength back," Sacra said.
He will now be immune to this strain of Ebola.
"Survivors are now working in some of the units as counselors and helpers," Sacra said. "Some of them are coming in and providing that human touch."
Sacra also has a message for Spencer, the latest American physician infected with Ebola; that his odds of survival are pretty good, and he should stay positive and optimistic because many people all over the country will be praying for his recovery.