To err is human, but to confess means that you really screwed up. Lawsuits are surely being filed after a Liberian man died from Ebola after being treated at a hospital in Texas. Thomas Eric Duncan was the first case of Ebola on American soil, and has become part of a national crisis to deal with the very frightening and serious disease. Even decisions about what to do with Thomas’ belongings are being made into political nightmares, and experts from all around are being asked to help fight the spread of this very serious virus.
Duncan died last week, but his family is still speaking about what happened to him. Duncan’s fiancée, Louise Troh, 54, gave a statement claiming that the hospital has apologized for what happened to the man she was going to marry. She says that the top official at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital told her that they were “deeply sorry” for the way they managed the situation. Their lack of experience in dealing with this infectious disease may have played a part in all that took place.
The hospital’s biggest error was to send Duncan home after he came into the facility. Duncan not only told them that he was feeling ill, but also mentioned that he’d just gone to Liberia, which should have been a red flag. Ebola has hit Liberia the hardest out of all countries, so staff should have known the seriousness of the situation.
Duncan came back to the hospital on September 28, after infecting his apartment and surrounding areas. He even vomited on the way to the hospital, exposing those around him to the disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also been put into the hotseat for not even getting to Duncan’s apartment with a cleaning crew for three days.
Since that time, others in the Dallas area have been infected with the virus, some of whom have even flown on airplanes. Planes are one of the easiest ways for a virus to spread across the country.
“I am grateful to God that this leader reached out and took responsibility for the hospital’s actions. Hearing this information will help me as I mourn Eric’s death,” Troh said.
The hospital confirmed it apologized to Troh.
In a previous statement, Troh called for a thorough examination of his care.
Since Duncan’s death, two nurses who cared for him have tested positive for Ebola despite wearing protective gear. More than 70 other healthcare providers who had contact with Duncan while he was in an isolation unit are being monitored for the virus and are unable to work.
Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks wrote an article in the Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that his family was angry at the hospital for releasing Duncan back into the community for two days with a contagious virus.