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DALLAS (CBDFW.COM) – The mother of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Duncan walked gingerly hand in hand with noted Civil Rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson into the entrance of a South Oak Cliff restaurant Tuesday.
Nowai Korkoyah didn’t say a word, but her daughter whispered this sentence: “We want fair medical treatment.”
Mai Wureh was referring to her brother, the first confirmed Ebola virus case in the U.S.
“In the case of Thomas Duncan, the concern here is that we see him as a patient; not a criminal,” Jackson told reporters. “While it is a crisis, we should not panic and begin to do irrational things in reaction.”
Jackson and the family members are in Dallas to visit Duncan, and meet with doctors. “This needs the same treatment as the others,” Jackson stated.
He added that he believes Duncan’s family may have been medically mishandled initially at Texas Health Presbyterian, after he was sent home by staffers.
Days later, paramedics transported the visitor from Liberia back to the hospital, where doctors confirmed Duncan was seriously ill from the Ebola infection.
“Without insurance, he [Duncan] was only offered a cursory examination,” said Jackson. “Thomas needs the same treatment as others. They [doctors] sent Ebola back into the community.”
A spokesperson for Texas Health Resources said Duncan “was treated the way any other patient would have been treated, regardless of nationality or ability to pay for care.”
Jackson will visit Thomas at the hospital Tuesday, then hold a prayer vigil outside Texas Presbyterian at 4 p.m. He shared his thoughts about how people have reacted to the case.
“We should quarantine the disease, not quarantine nations and airlines flights,” said Jackson.
Duncan remains in critical condition at the hospital, according to a Tuesday afternoon update. He is on a ventilator and receiving kidney dialysis. Duncan’s liver function, which declined over the weekend, has improved, but doctors caution that this could vary in coming days.
Jackson shared some hopeful developments in Duncan’s condition: his blood pressure is back up, his temperature is normal, diarrhea has slowed down and his liver numbers are better. Duncan will continue to receive the investigational medication brincidofovir.
Family members stated that they are very worried about Duncan’s chances for survival.
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