Irving, Texas. October 8, 2014 –
Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, died Wednesday morning.
Duncan, 42, was given the experimental Ebola drug brincidofovir, but his family said he was doing poorly and the hospital had downgraded his condition from serious to critical. When the family visited Tuesday with the Rev. Jesse Jackson, they decided not to view Duncan via video link because the last time had been too upsetting.
“What we saw was very painful. It didn’t look good,” said Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks.
Dr. Kent Brantly, who donated plasma to an NBC News freelancer being treated for Ebola in Nebraska, was contacted by the hospital and said that he would be willing to donate blood if Duncan were a match. He never heard back from the hospital and assumes his blood type was not a match, according to Samaritan’s Purse.
It’s possible Duncan contracted the virus in Liberia while taking a dying neighbor to the hospital in a taxi. He left Monrovia on a Sept. 19 flight and arrived in the U.S. the next day. He started showing symptoms Sept. 24 and went to a Dallas hospital for treatment Sept. 26. He was sent home, only to be brought back by ambulance on Sept. 28 and diagnosed with the deadly virus.
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