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Ebola victim begged for a diaper before he died

by Ashley Naples

Last week the nephew of an Ebola victim who died accused the Dallas hospital that treated him of racism. If the allegations are true, then the loss of Thomas Duncan is even more tragic than originally thought, but the heart-wrenching story of the moments prior to Duncan’s deαth are so horrendous that they will probably do little to put his family’s mind at ease.

In addition to losing his life, medical charts seem to indicate that Duncan lost his dignity as Ebola destroyed his organs.

Duncan, who flew to Texas from Liberia, was hopeful at one point, even asking for an action movie and food. Still, his deαth was slow and painful, according to medical records.

Only a day after Duncan was admitted to the hospital, he begged hospital staff to give him a diaper because he was too exhausted to make it to the bathroom. Duncan had been projectile vοmiting and experiencing severe diαrrhea since he was admitted and didn’t have much energy.

Family members released over 1,000 pages of medical records which detail Duncan’s treatment for Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. At one point there was hope and Duncan drank Sprite and ate saltines, but his condition quickly declined.

Duncan’s organs eventually began to shut down and his heart rate slowed and then stopped beating.

Duncan wasn’t given an experimental Ebola drug until the last minute, causing his family to accuse doctors of playing favorites. According to Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, his uncle would’ve received better treatment had he been white and wealthy.

“Had that been another name, you know, or another color, he would probably be living today and he would have survived it,” Weeks told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “And that’s what’s really hurting me the most is because they treated him the way they did because of the color of his skin, and that’s very upsetting and disturbing, and know that you stand a chance if you’re white, but you don’t if you’re black.”

Others around the country are saying that there is a racial bias on the way Ebola victims are treated.  Rev. Jesse Jackson went to Dallas to speak on behalf of the family and also claimed that Duncan was not given access to the same care that white doctors received after being infected in Africa and treated in Atlanta.

However, there are some who have little sympathy for Duncan, since it is alleged by the Liberian government that he lied when asked if he’d had contact with an Ebola patient while visiting the country.  Both the country of Liberia and the state of Texas had planned to prosecute Duncan for lying to airport screeners, should he have survived.  Since his arrival in the country, several people have been infected, including a nurse who cared for him at the hospital.

But despite Duncan’s decision to lie to airport screeners, Slate.com gives another perspective on Duncan’s infection in Africa.  They claim that he simply helped a sick neighbor get into a taxi as she was trying to get to the hospital.   The fact that he claims to have touched the woman just once before infection makes the disease that much scarier.

Ebola is a disease that is terrifying for many reasons, not the least of which is that it kills gruesomely and is easily transmitted. It is also terrifying in part because it preys on caregivers and loved ones, parasitizing the humanity of those who care for and come into close contact with the ill. Duncan himself was a firsthand witness to the horrors of this disease. He briefly assisted his neighbor, a 19-year-old Ebola-infected pregnant woman, as she climbed into a taxi.

It is hard to blame someone for such a brief and noble encounter. Here is a sick young woman who needs help getting to a hospital, but who is too weak to climb into a cab on her own. There he is, standing nearby. Who would not help? Who would recoil and refuse to assist an ailing friend?

And besides, it was just a brief encounter. The opening of a door. The holding of an arm. The making comfortable.

According to Yvette Carnell at BreakingBrown.com, the situation with Duncan was ugly from the very beginning. She also says that both the CDC and Texas Presbyterian Hospital handled the serious situation with the kind of sloppiness that makes us all realize that we might be in big trouble.  The picture she paints is a scary one, claiming that Duncan was vomiting everywhere both at home and on his way to the hospital, risking infection of everyone he came into contact with.

Once Duncan arrived in the U.S., he stayed with an old girlfriend and complained of feeling ill, so she took him to the hospital. After Duncan arrived at the hospital, he waited in a waiting room with other people for hours. Even though he admitted having traveled from Liberia, he was released from the hospitalwith only antibiotics. The hospital initially attempted to deny the claim that Duncan had revealed his recent travels but were eventually forced to walk that statement back. The morning after, he was vomiting and sh*tting diarrhea all over a one-bedroom flat occupied by five people, and his host’s daughter called the ambulance,”reports Guy Rundle.

At BlackInsuranceNews.com, Yolanda Spivey says that many hospitals around the country are ill-prepared for Ebola patients to come through their doors.  She also says that it was a likely breach in protocol that led to the infection of the nurse who took care of Duncan at the hospital.   So, it appears that health care officials aren’t prepared, the country isn’t prepared and the CDC isn’t prepared.  This could be a difficult crisis to manage.

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27 thoughts on “Ebola victim begged for a diaper before he died

    • Neesha

      Will Black America Wake Up ?? I’m Sure We ( The Black America ) Are Well Aware Of What’s Going On As Far As The Unequal Treatment … I Really Don’t See What Black America Have To Do With Anything … What About The White Nurse Who Had It And Traveled ?? This Shit Was Going To Happen One Way Or The Other Despite The Skin Color That’s What You All Fail To Realize . He Didn’t Deserve To Die … Not Like That That Was So Unprofessional For The Doctors and Nurses To Ignore His Wishes … And I Don’t Even Know What Him Not Having Insurance Has To Do Anything … Y’all Are Just Talking To Talk … These Is Not Justification For What The Hospital Did … SORRY

      • Michelle Hart

        The nurse that “travelled” was not “white!” There are two nurses sick now! What if I blamed a race for bringing the disease! It is not about race! If he was denied anything as far as health care that is just wrong but it would be wrong no matter what race or ethnicity or country was involved! I know racism exists and I am not trying to say it does not! I do think things have changed positively in the last 40 years, at least where I live! I do not judge ANY one by race, ethnicity or country but I realize that everyone is not like me……that being said I hope that we move together beyond it being about race and being all about what kind of care did he receive what was done incorrectly, what could have been done better?!? I would have fought to save him, and I would fight to save these others, even the one who traveled when told not to. I would fight for any and all of us! We should all be willing to do the same for each other! THAT would be UNITY which would be the opposite of Racism in my opinion! Prayers for all that are sick and their loved ones!

  1. rohetho

    I don’t wish don’t on no one but I must admit that I feel some type of way about his family wanting people to care more about his suffering when he selfishly thought of himself when he lied about where he was and being exposed. Millions of people are going to suffer one way or another behind him, I have very little care of his last days.

    • nikki

      I agree. I feel bad for his death, but I personally think he selfishly exposed too many people for his own personal gain. I believe he knew he may have been infected and came to america thinking his life would be saved. I may be wrong, but that’s how I feel

  2. Merolyn McGadney

    Duncan did not lie. He told hospital officials when he first went to the hospital.that he had visited Liberia. The hospital lied, but later admitted that he told them.. This was a Black man who probably had no insurance.

    • annrowe

      Duncan lied on the documents he filled out before leaving Africa to travel from Africa to Texas, he said he had not came into contact with anyone who was sick. Infact he had, he assisted a Woman who was sick, he lied so he could travel to the US.

  3. nikki

    He did lie, he lied at the airport to get here. He knew he had been around someone that had Ebola. He lied to get on the plane. And he wasn’t a black man with no insurance, he was not even an american citizen. He was “visiting family”

  4. Natalie

    It’s terrible. I think they were doing that to him because he bought the disease into the USA. It could have been anyone that bought it over we all are still humans in the end

  5. blackallaround365

    I suspect there is more to this story. He deserved fair teatment, you don’ t wait three days…to give life saving treatment. When this virus, is fast acting, and very progressive in attacking the body. Health care systems, are their to facialiate diagnose, treat, care for, and heal the sick. If you were in Mexico..on vacation, or business travel…from the US, or any other Country in the world, and their was an Ebola out break. Any sane person…would be heading to the US border…you’d lie to perserve you life too! The Ebola crisis, their is something not right about this, how long will this current health threat be allowed to continue, to jeopardize the health, and safety of so many human beings?I say you should do the math!

    I suggest we pay close attention…one things for sure. All Americans, US missionaries, US health care professionals, who have contracted Ebola, they all have received outstanding care, and treatment within these borders. In addition they all have survived their Ebola crisis. Why, is there treatment, and a cure for this Ebola panadimic, and only certain groups of people are receiving proper, life saving treatments? We have a responsiblity to care for all the sick, we take an oath, to care for, and treat sick people… period.

  6. simone

    Now think about this.. If you had an illness and there was possible hope for a cure would you not go out and seek help? I’m sure you would . My next question is after seeking out medical help and getting cleared by medical doctors would you then assume that they missed diagnosed you? I don’t think so. I’m very confused by the some of the thoughts of people, putting aside if you’re black or white. Mr. Duncan may his soul rest in peace followed protocol when it came to him seeking out medical treatment. I honestly believe a man with kids would not intentionally go home knowing he had ebola and not just put the people on the plane or Americans at risk but his own kids!! Get real.. this man did nothing that you or I would do.

  7. Johnny

    As always the racism card gets pulled. I seriously do not believe he was discriminated against because of the color of his skin. Everyone needs to quit pulling the race card every chance they get. Get over yourselves.

  8. Kay

    As a nurse I can tell you no one will get food if they are projectile vomiting and having severe diarrhea. Also, we put anyone who even utters the word diarrhea in a diaper. No hospital denies care due to insurance. That is illegal. As a nurse you have no idea if the patient has insurance or not, unless you are a case manager. This is the most ridiculous story I’ve read thus far. Don’t let this asinine articles breed hate. This is a scary time, we all need to band together, not tear a wedge between in further.

  9. James

    This @sshole should not even have been led into the country. He knew he had direct contact with an Ebola positive patient in Liberia and lied to get here, although I guess you cant really blame him for that: who would want to seek medical care in that clusterf&ck of a country. But, once here, he should have made it abundantly clear that he was high risk.

    I don’t mourn for this stupid, selfish POS. The hospital should sue his family for medical costs for trying ti save his worthless life.

  10. Andie

    Such ignorance and stupidity exhibited here…..even some with a valid point appear to be unable to effectively verbalize. Sad statement on our education system.

  11. Stephanie

    Some of you really need to read entire articles. Mr Duncan helped that young pregnant woman and did not know she had ebola. Where they live there is Malaria and many other viruses that have similar symtoms. Think about where he was. All he did was help her. They did not even know she had it until she passed because her Doctor told her she had Malaria and she was given a Malaria pill. He was actually trying to be a hero.

  12. nyea

    For all the people tryna take it off the fact you government lie all the time, jus like they did about Ebola he help someone something you white people don’t know how to do unless its ur kind of it benefits you. That man deserved professional care jus like your white ass does and he did deserve to die over a mistake or a lie. I hope you don’t get it and there’s a black person around talking bout how they don’t feel sorry for your white ass for whatever reason. Grow the hell up already, your ass a liar too your simple ass don’t deserve to die ughhhh.

  13. nyea

    And he was a united states citizen, he was visiting his family in Africa. You people got me so heated my texting is a malay. People lie or maybe he didn’t know either way he deserves a diaper or food or a drink a way to clean him up as in wash his ass everyday. Its so funny for you all to pass judgment but if it was you mothers fathers brothers you wanna step up when them three white people got it. This shyt is very racial and I hope yaw stop that shyt and deal with the shyt yaw created yaw always doing some shyt in the name of help the world but wen it gets outta hand yaw be look n for people to blame and lying about shyt like yaw didn’t do nothing.. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE and it will not just be a black man it will be whites too.

  14. A woman whose Race Is NOT important

    People, please understand that this man was an American Citizen. He didn’t come here looking for help. He already lived in America. Born and raised. Smh. This is what happens when you DO NOT READ articles thoroughly. He went to visit family and came into contact with someone that he did not know had the disease. If I help my pregnant friend into a car who is already suffering from pregnancy symptoms such as exhaustion and nausea or probably throwing up and those symptoms just happen to be similar to Ebola symptoms how am I supposed to know the difference? Just about any virus has the same symptoms. Please let’s not point fingers at this man. He suffered enough and has passed. Stop calling him names and saying hateful things. You’re almost as worse as the virus itself! !!!

  15. gee



    • Meghann

      And two of the whites donated their plasma to save the lives of two nurses one Vietnamese and African-American.

      The medical staff was told Mr. Duncan was from Africa but they never said on their first trip that he had been exposed to Ebola.

      Sure blacks are last in some instances, but I believe this was due to a lack of communication on both ends. We are just blessed that more people were not infected because he was vomiting in emergency and may have used a public hospital toilet. Think of the hospital workers who carried the vomit away and disposed of it without protection…SCARY!

  16. US Nurse

    Lets first get this fact out there….this man was NOT and i repeat NOT a US citizen. He was a 42-year-old Liberian citizen. Duncan’s Facebook page indicates that he’s from the Liberian capital of Monrovia, where he attended E. Jonathan Goodridge High School.
    This has nothing to do with insurance, black, white, purple…this man was not a US citizen who brought Ebola on US soil n they just gonna treat him??? Think again. Im sorry to say it but because this man came into this country fully knowing that he came in contact with a person who was sick whether he knew r not it was Ebola he did not share that info when asked. And I fully believe the government did exactly wht they did on purpose because if u hve someone who is sick with Ebola r think they may be sick and Duncan was treated n survived, we would get more people trying to get here for treatment. Duncan was a message to the world from the US. Dont come here sick n think we r going to treat you. Plain n simple. If you believe anything else, u living in a fantasy world.

  17. cheeks

    This some bs….im black and im saying fuck him nd his family on that shit….he put all of us in danger. ..i live in dallas so im seeing the effects first hand….bs..

  18. Vernon Berry

    It very sad this Hospital and staff ignored the last wish of a dying man. There human compassion show toward him. I know Heaven open its gates for this brother. The injustices of Black America continue to haunt us. This very unfortunate for us as a people. Because we stand together. We so divided in all that we do.

  19. Meghann

    I believe he got adequate treatment. The mistake was made when he was turned away from the hospital the first time he went to emergency.

    According to his family he had vomiting and diarrhea before he was readmitted to the hospital so he did not just start with these symptoms when he got to the hospital.

    His death is a shame, but he is at rest, let’s move on and make better decisions in the future.

    This is why we need medical insurance (Obamacare) Affordable Care Act and we need to make wise decisions regarding our health. This man buried a woman with Ebola prior to coming to the U.S., I read she was his step daughter. He should have waited before traveling, he infected innocent people which was also a tragedy.

    I believe he knew he was infected and came to the U.S. to get good medical treatment. I just wish his family had spoken up and loudly telling the medical staff that he had been exposed to Ebola. If this had been done, maybe he would be alive…I do have compassion for him and his family.


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