Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Thomas Eric Duncan | Ebola | Dallas hospital | care

Nephew of Ebola Victim Lashes Out at Hospital Over Care

Image: Nephew of Ebola Victim Lashes Out at Hospital Over Care
Josephus Weeks, the nephew of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil, in Dallas, Texas. (Jim Young/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 10:13 AM

The nephew of the nation's first Ebola victim is defending his uncle's character and lashing out at the care and treatment he received at a Dallas hospital in an opinion column published in the New York Post.

"Our nation will never mourn the loss of my uncle, who was in this country for the first time to visit his son. But our nation and our family can agree that what happened at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas must never happen to another family," wrote Josephus Weeks, an Iraqi War veteran and the nephew of the late Thomas Eric Duncan.

Duncan, a native of Liberia, was hospitalized with Ebola symptoms Sept. 28, three days after he showed up at the emergency room with suspicious symptoms that some say should have tipped off medical personnel.

Weeks claims in his column that his uncle was not treated properly and likely could have been saved.

"From his botched release from the emergency room to his delayed testing and delayed treatment and the denial of experimental drugs that have been available to every other case of Ebola treated in the US, the hospital invited death every step of the way," Weeks wrote.

The medical center Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, is under fire as two nurses have been diagnosed with Ebola after caring for Duncan, the Huffington Post reported. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that protocol was likely violated as nurses and physicians attended to the patient wearing protective gear that likely left him exposed.

Weeks defended that his uncle was a careful person, limiting his exposure while in Liberia where the virus has killed thousands. Once in the U.S., he remained vigilant and thoughtful.

"Like hundreds of thousands of West Africans, carefully avoiding Ebola was part of my uncle’s daily life. And I can tell you with 100 percent certainty: Thomas Eric would have never knowingly exposed anyone to this illness," Weeks said.

Weeks decried the hospital's failures that led to his uncle's death and its lack of transparency in discussing with the world what took place during his care.

"The hospital is not talking. Until then, we are all left to wonder. What we do know is that their error affects all of society. Their bad judgment or misjudgment sent my uncle back into the community for days with a highly contagious case of Ebola," Weeks wrote.

"Thomas Eric Duncan could have been saved. Finally, what is most difficult for us — Thomas Eric’s mother, children and those closest to him — to accept is the fact that our loved one could have been saved."

In the wake of Duncan's death, concerns continue to mount about other exposures as a nurse who cared for him flew to visit family in Ohio, even as she knew she had a fever and might have been exposed, CNN noted, as the CDC continues to investigate amid both public and congressional outcry.

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The nephew of the nation's first Ebola victim is defending his uncle's character and lashing out at the care and treatment he received at a Dallas hospital in an opinion column published in the New York Post.
Thomas Eric Duncan, Ebola, Dallas hospital, care
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2014-13-16
Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 10:13 AM
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