Tags: Ebola Outbreak | dallas | hospital | nurses | thomas eric duncan

Duncan's Nurses: We Held His Hand When Nobody Else Would

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 11:08 PM

The last people to hold Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan's hands to comfort him as he was dying at Dallas' Texas Presbyterian Hospital were his nurses, some of whom will appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday to explain how they tried to save the Liberian while risking their own lives.

The nurses, John Mulligan, Krista Maxwell, Richard Townsend, and Sedia Rose, will explain the ordeal in their first media interviews following Duncan's death to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. The man was the first and only Ebola patient to die from the disease in the United States.

"I was very frightened," Rose told Pelley. "I was. But, and I just dried my tears, rolled down my sleeves, so to speak, and went on about my night."

Duncan had come to the hospital on Sept. 25 with a low-grade fever, but was sent home, only to return three days later with full-blown Ebola symptoms, including a temperature of 103 degrees.

Mulligan, an intensive care nurse who treated Duncan during his final hours, said that by the time he saw Duncan on Oct. 1, his nausea and vomiting had subsided.

But Duncan had to have rectal tubes inserted, said Mulligan, as he "had gotten so weak, he couldn't get up to the commodes anymore," said Mulligan. "So that was to help contain all of his very infectious body fluids that we were dealing with."

But even on the first day he was admitted, Duncan had not said much, said Mulligan.

"You could could look in his eyes and tell he just didn't feel good," Mulligan told Pelley. "And we offered him words of encouragement. We let him know that we're here, whatever you need, let us know and we'll get it."

Further, said Mulligan, the nurses "held his hand and talked to him and comforted him because his family couldn't be there. You can't take that risk with this type of disease of exposing, you know, loved ones, as much as you want them there. It's just not a possibility."

Duncan died on Oct. 8, just 10 days after he was finally admitted to the hospital, and within days after his death, two other of his nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson became ill. Both of them, though, have now recovered from the deadly disease.

Sunday's report will also include details of how Duncan's caretakers are being treated in the community, according to the show transcript.

"Many dozens of people treated Eric Duncan here at the hospital, and they're running into some problems in the community," Pelley says in the segment. One nurse's dental appointment was postponed until December, he explained, and another nurse said her niece was kicked out of school.

The segment will air Sunday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

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The last people to hold Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan's hands to comfort him as he was dying at Dallas' Texas Presbyterian Hospital were his nurses, some of whom will appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday to explain how they tried to save the Liberian while risking their own lives.
dallas, hospital, nurses, thomas eric duncan
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2014-08-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 11:08 PM
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