Scholarship Named to Honor Ebola Victim Thomas Eric Duncan

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DALLAS - Many know Thomas Eric Duncan's Story -- the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S.  Last October, Duncan showed up to Texas Presbyterian in Dallas with symptoms, was sent home with meds, only to return to the hospital where he later died.

Monday, Duncan’s family united at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas for another reason. The Thomas Eric Duncan Endowed Scholarship will spend $125,000 to help future doctors, physician assistants, and nurses in Liberia, Duncan’s native country where he contracted the virus.

The family sued Texas Health after Duncan’s death, but it seems as if things are settled.

“I just came up here to say thank you to Texas Health Resources for fulfilling your obligation to our family and doing the best you could for my brother,” Josephus Weeks said.  “When my brother came to your doorstep, no one knew what we were walking into.”

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson showed support. David and Nancy Writebol were also in attendance.  Nancy nearly died when she contracted the virus in Liberia while doing mission work with SIM (Serving in Mission.)

While DFW might have a clean bill of health when it comes to Ebola, there was a close call Friday.  The Tarrant County Public Health Department said someone came in with one Ebola symptom.  They’d just returned from Liberia. They later found the test to be negative.

But the fight’s not done.  Nurse Nina Pham who got Ebola while treating Duncan is in the middle of a lawsuit with the hospital's parent company.  A judge recently issued a temporary restraining order against Texas Health Resources.

Another Presby nurse, Amber Vinson, also contacted Ebola while treating Duncan. She too survived the deadly virus that's claimed so many lives.

There might be a silver lining.

“May 9th marks the 42nd day that there have been no new cases of Ebola in Liberia,” David Writebol said.