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Ebola Patient's Girlfriend Overwhelmed by Fallout, Pastor Says

Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 07:04 PM

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Louise Troh has suffered loss before, leaving her Liberian homeland for the U.S. a decade ago, and then losing a baby during childbirth, her pastor said.

Now, the 54-year-old Dallas woman faces a new challenge. She has been quarantined because of her contact with the man she shares a son with and planned to marry, Thomas Eric Duncan. He has been confirmed as having Ebola, and the hospital where he’s being cared for today downgraded his condition to critical.

Troh is worried Duncan may not recover, and that she too may be infected, said George Mason, senior pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church, where Troh worships.

“She is overwhelmed,” said Mason, who has spoken with Troh several times since the ordeal began and is hoping to get permission from health officials to visit with her. “It’s a moment by moment, day by day experience,” he said.

Troh was moved yesterday with three others from her apartment to an undisclosed home provided by another church member. The same day she had the opportunity to speak with Duncan, who is being treated in the intensive care unit at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Mason said.

“When you love someone, it is not something you can make go away with willpower,” Mason said in a telephone interview. “It is something you have to endure.” Asked about the chances Duncan will die, Mason said, “If it comes to that, we will be there to help her and stand beside her.”

Troh, who works at an elder-care facility in the Dallas area, was baptized in June at Wilshire Baptist. The church was founded in 1951 and now has about 3,200 members, said Mason, who has been senior pastor there for 25 years.

Church Service

Tomorrow, the church’s regular service will carry a deeper meaning because of the couple’s travails, he said. There has been “many offers to help” pay Duncan’s medical bills, according to Mason. No fund has been set up, he said.

Troh was looking forward to having a life with Duncan in the U.S. after reconciling with him following a separation.

“They had a falling out of some sort,” Mason said. “Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 years ago, she left Liberia for America. Recently, they attempted reconciliation and he intended to marry her.”

Now, their plans are on hold. “When you love someone, it is not something you can make go away with willpower,” Mason said. “It is something you have to endure.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Harry R. Weber in Dallas at hweber14@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Reg Gale, John Lear

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Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 07:04 PM
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