Johnson made the following statement:
Will Elphick and I want to thank the staff and medical professionals here at The Nebraska Medical Center.
Your level of cooperation and commitment to Rick and his family, and just the good Midwestern hospitality that you have shown, has been so encouraging.
On behalf of his dear wife, Debbie, their three sons and the global SIM family, I want to thank everyone who had a part.
This all happened so quickly that Debbie is making arrangements for her family and will arrive in Omaha this weekend to be reunited with Rick. Of course, she would appreciate her privacy during the days ahead.
The speed and effort to bring Rick back to the U.S. for his continued treatment for the Ebola virus have been astounding. Two days ago at our news conference in Charlotte, it was an option. Today, Rick is in Omaha.
Those involved extended from the U.S. State Department, to the U.S. Embassy staff in Liberia, to Nebraska Medical Center, to our wonderful SIM ELWA staff and medical personnel in Liberia, to an evacuation plane crew and medical staff, to Offutt Air Force Base, to Omaha police and public safety, to Nebraska public health, to even the Monrovia, Liberia, airport manager, and I am sure a whole lot of other people and agencies in between.
The logistics and coordination were complex. We give praise to God that it came together so quickly and seamlessly.
Rick will be embarrassed when he finds out about all the attention. When I received his email Monday morning he wrote:
“To all of you at SIM, and to my colleagues here in Liberia at ELWA Hospital, I apologize. (He didn’t want to bother us with this, because of his concern that it not disrupt the patient care at our ELWA Hospital. Will can share more about our work there in Liberia).
Rick went on to say, “Regarding evacuation: I know and accept that there is no easy solution for an evacuation, so I don´t expect one. Jesus is right here with me in Liberia! And Dr. Brown, our SIM/ELWA medical director, has a lot of experience now. And the ELWA 2 unit has been discharging a lot of alive patients. I know that with or without evacuation, I could well die from this disease. And frankly, my main concerns are for Debbie and my boys, and for the ministry of SIM and how that would affect things. I can only trust that God is at work.”
Indeed, God is at work.
The latest updates on SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available at www.simusa.org/ebolacrisis.
SIM (www.simusa.org) is an international Christian mission organization with a staff of nearly 3,000 workers from over 50 countries serving in more than 65 nations. In addition to medicine, SIM serves on every continent in areas of education, community development, public health and Christian witness. While SIM stood for Sudan Interior Mission when it was founded 120 years ago, it is now a global mission known as SIM (pronounced S-I-M).