Thomas Eric Duncan, First Person to Develop Ebola in the U.S., Dies

Thomas Eric Duncan
Thomas Eric Duncan
Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Twitter

Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian national being treated for Ebola at Dallas' Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital died this morning at 7:51 a.m..

Presbyterian issued the following statement:

"It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51 a.m. Mr. Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle. Our professionals, the doctors and nurses in the unit, as well as the entire Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas community, are also grieving his passing. We have offered the family our support and condolences at this difficult time."

Duncan was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. After helping a neighbor who would later die from Ebola to and from the hospital in Liberia, Duncan traveled to Dallas on September 20. After developing a fever, he was treated and released by Presbyterian before returning to the hospital on September 28. He was diagnosed with Ebola the afternoon of September 30.

According to reports, Duncan came to Dallas to be marry his fiancee and reunite with his teenage son.

"This hurts deeply. We were hoping this was not going to happen," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, said, before affirming his faith in Dallas' medical community.

"I remain confident in the abilities of our medical professionals," he said.

Update 11:56 a.m.: Louise Troh, Duncan's fiance, has released a statement:

"This morning we received news that Eric passed away. His suffering is over. My family is in deep sadness and grief, but we leave him in the hands of God. Our deepest sympathies go out to his father and family in Liberia and here in America. Eric was a wonderful man and showed compassion toward all.

I want to thank the Dallas Community, the church and the Liberian community; and, in particular, County Judge Jenkins; Mayor Rawlings; my pastor, George Mason; Saymendy Lloyd; Stanley Gay; and Alben Bush for all the love and support they have shown me and my family during this ordeal. Without their help, I can't imagine how we could have endured.

I trust a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care. I am now dealing with the sorrow and anger that his son was not able to see him before he died. This will take some time, but in the end, I believe in a merciful God.

I hope that you will keep my family in your prayers. This has dramatically changed our lives, and we will be grieving for a long time. may Eric rest in peace."

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