Liberian Ebola victim, Thomas Eric Duncan’s ill-fated medical treatment by the Texas Presbyterian Hospital has paved the way for the establishment of a foundation in his memory and a future expansion of a history arm in Liberia to help Ebola victims.
This followed a financial settlement by the hospital with the family of the man who became known as Patient Zero, being the first Ebola victim to die on United States soil.
The foundation, according to family attorney Les Weisbrod, will assist other Ebola victims in West Africa.
Attorney Les Weisbrod told the press conference that resources for the foundation are part of a larger settlement from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital that would ‘take care’ of Duncan’s four children and his parents.
The attorney, however, did not reveal how much the settlement was worth, but other sources placed the amount at U$25,000.00.
But Duncan’s fiancée, Louise Troh, according to the attorney, would not receive any benefit from the settlement.
He told reporters that the hospital wanted to do the right thing, but did not disclose details of the deal.
He noted that Duncan’s family would not be billed for his care at the hospital.
Duncan's nephew, Josephus Weeks, who previously was critical of the care Duncan received, and who said his death had been partly due to his race, nationality and lack of insurance, Wednesday credited the Presbyterian officials for moving quickly to settle the case and accepting mistakes.
Information reaching the Daily Observer quoted Weeks as saying that he would be “the face of the foundation”, which he hoped would lead to a new hospital or the dedication of a hospital wing in Liberia.
“The main focus is that Eric's name is on something, so that everybody knows that he didn't die in vain,” reporters quoted him as saying.
The hospital officials in Dallas confirmed the creation of the foundation in a statement and said it has 'amicably addressed all matters' with his family.
With apologies to Duncan’s family, hospital officials acknowledged that key caregivers missed his travel history in their record system and instead provided him with antibiotics, something hospital administrators have acknowledged was a mistake.
Duncan's sister, Mai Wureh, told reporters that the hospital had satisfied her request for the remainder of her brother's medical records, including lab results of his treatment with the experimental drug brincidofovir.
Wureh also said she and Weeks met Wednesday morning with John Mulligan, the nurse who administered the drug.
“He gave me closure because he was the last one in that room. He was able to talk to him, comfort him. He held onto him, and that made me feel better. At least he didn't die alone,” Wureh said of Mulligan.
Eric Thomas Duncan, 42, arrived in the United States, and first sought treatment at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in late September, telling staff he had come from Liberia, one of the three countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. Duncan died on October 8.