News October 08, 2014 at 01:55 pm

Ebola Victim Thomas Eric Duncan Dies But Family Wonders Whether U.S. Did Enough

Abena Agyeman-Fisher | Editor-in-chief, F2FA

Abena Agyeman-Fisher October 08, 2014 at 01:55 pm

October 08, 2014 at 01:55 pm | News

Thomas Eric Duncan dead dies
Thomas Eric Duncan (pictured), the first Ebola patient in the United States, died Wednesday morning, after battling the deadly virus for about three weeks, according to various reports.

SEE ALSO: Against All Odds, Liberian Nursing Student Single-Handedly Saves 3 Family Members from Ebola

Duncan — and a number of neighbors — reportedly contracted the disease while helping an ill young pregnant woman to a hospital.

What he and his neighbors seemingly did not know was that the pregnant woman, who ended up dying the next day, was sick with Ebola.

Duncan boarded a plane on September 19th in order to visit his sister in Texas.

When he got off of the plane on the 20th, Duncan reportedly visited a number of family members. On September 24th, though, Duncan began feeling ill and went to seek care from Texas Presbyterian Hospital.

The hospital erroneously sent Duncan home with antibiotics.

By September 27th, Duncan went back to the hospital, reportedly vomiting in the ambulance from his condition.

On September 30th, the Centers for Disease Control announced that the United States had their first case of Ebola.

Duncan came in contact with nearly 80 people in his time in the States.

At press time, 10 of that number have been identified as being high risk for Ebola because they reportedly had direct contact with Duncan. Thirty eight others are also being monitored for the virus.

On Monday, Duncan’s critical condition made headlines because it was revealed that doctors had NOT given him experimental drugs, even though the four American aid workers, who had also caught Ebola, had received some form of treatment.

For example, Dr. Kent Brantly, who was the first aid worker to contract Ebola and be flown back to the United States, said that he would donate his plasma to NBC News freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo on Monday, after the Nebraska Medical Center asked him for it.

Brantly’s plasma also previously went to Dr. Rick Sacra, who was also an Ebola victim.

Dr. Sacra, Dr. Brantly, and one other aid worker have made a full recovery.

Consequently, Joe Weeks, who lives with Duncan’s sister Mai, told ABC News at the time, “I don’t understand why he is not getting the ZMapp.”

The doctors defended their decision to not treat Duncan with the experimental drugs, though, saying they feared it would exacerbate his condition.

After much backlash from the family and wider community at the admission, a few hours later the hospital did an about face, announcing Duncan was indeed receiving brincidofovir, an experimental drug.

Still, Duncan’s girlfriend Louise Troh, who is also the Mother of his son, told the press, “I want Thomas to be taken care of. The medicine that [they] gave the other Americans that came from Africa, two days ago [they didn’t give] him the same medicine.

“I don’t think Americans, they are doing enough to save him.”

Hospital officials said of Duncan’s passing: 

“It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m.,” the hospital said in a statement.

“Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing,”

At the news, Troh released the following statement:

“My family is in deep sadness and grief, but we leave him in the hands of God,” wrote Troh. “I am now dealing with the sorrow and anger that his son was not able to see him before he died. This will take some time, but in the end, I believe in a merciful God.”

 

Distraught, Duncan’s daughter, Youngor Jaliah, said, “I am not okay and I don’t know what to do.”

Watch news coverage of Thomas Eric Duncan’s passing here:

 


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