The goggles that physician Daniel Lucey wore to protect against the Ebola virus almost blinded him. The protective suit he donned in Sierra Leone is a one-man sauna, and the only available gloves are, he says politely, “sub-optimal.” After one tore, he wore three per hand.

Lucey, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C., spent much of August on the front lines of the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, confronting the obstacles that face those trying to subdue this lethal virus. Those obstacles did not deter him: after less than a month at home, he leaves Sunday to treat Ebola patients in Liberia.

“It’s dangerous. Ebola’s about as bad as it gets,” Lucey acknowledges, when asked why he’s putting himself at risk. But “if I don’t do it, who’s going to do it, except the people who have no choice?”

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