Gillian Mohney, ABC News, October 8, 2014
Thomas Eric Duncan, the patient who was being treated for Ebola in an isolation unit at a Texas hospital, has died, officials said today.
“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,” the statement said.
Duncan, a Liberian man who had traveled to Texas to visit family, was the first person to be diagnosed with the disease while in the U.S. and became the first person to die of the disease in the U.S.
Duncan’s son, Karsiah Duncan, 19, told reporters Tuesday he was praying for his father’s recovery. Karsiah Duncan had not seen his father since he was 3, when he and his mother Louise Troh left Liberia, according to ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas.
Troh and three other people are still in quarantine after they were exposed to Duncan while he had symptoms of Ebola.
Duncan was the first person to be given the experimental drug brincidofovir.
According to Duncan’s neighbors in Monrovia, Liberia, Duncan might have contracted the deadly virus when he helped take a pregnant woman to a hospital while she was vomiting blood. He traveled with the woman to several facilities that turned her away and then helped carry her back into her home. She died the next day and it was later determined that she died of Ebola.
When he departed Liberia on Sept. 19, his temperature was taken at the airport and he was determined to not have a fever. He checked a form at the airport before leaving indicating he had not been in contact with anyone infected by Ebola. It’s not clear whether he was aware at the time whether the pregnant woman he helped was suffering from Ebola.