‘He said he wanted to see his estranged son’: Tragic final words and unfulfilled wish of dying Ebola victim revealed at vigil in his honour
Laura Collins In Dallas, Texas For Mailonline
Pastor George Mason led prayers at Wilshire Baptist in Dallas that included community leaders and a small number of friends and family of Mr Duncan
Duncan’s quarantined fiancee Louise Troh, 54, who Duncan and mother of his 19-year-old son, Karsiah, followed the service via a livestream
Already serious questions are being asked as to the standard of care the dead man received at Texas Presbyterian Hospital
Thomas Eric Duncan’s dying wish was to see his son. That desire were the last words spoken by the first Ebola victim to die on American soil. And it was a desperate hope he did not live to fulfill.
This tragic revelation has been shared now by Wilshire Baptist Church Senior Pastor George Mason.
Mason was speaking at a prayer service on Wednesday evening – planned as a vigil of hope but transformed into one of remembrance by Mr Duncan’s passing on Wednesday.
Louise Troh, 54, the woman who Mr Duncan came to America to marry and the mother of his 19-year-old son, Karsiah, followed the service via a livestream. She remains in quarantine with her 13-year-old son and two nephews followed the service.
‘If you are with us Louise,’ Pastor Mason said simply, ‘We love you and we are praying for you.’
Pastor Mason described Mr Duncan , 42, as a man who had come to this country ‘in hope.’
He said, ‘He had dreams of a life. He had dreams for his son, Eric (Karsiah)
‘The last words that (Thomas) Eric Duncan said were said to a nurse.
‘She asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted to see his son.
‘She asked him where his son was. He said he was in college, where he should be.
‘He was very proud of his son.
‘His son,’ Pastor Mason added, ‘Wanted to see his father too.’
Kasiah Eric Duncan, 19, a student at San Angelo State University, Texas, travelled to Dallas yesterday in hopes of establishing a relationship with the father he last saw when he was just three years old. That was when his mother left Liberia, and Mr Duncan, following a falling out and travelled to America.
But Mr Duncan’s condition deteriorated so severely over the weekend that his family could only view him by video link. And even that was so upsetting to them, Karsiah said yesterday, that they could not sleep after seeing him and could not bear to see him again.
‘I trust a thorough examination will take place regarding all aspects of his care’: Thomas Eric Duncan’s fiancée reveals anger following his death 18 days after bringing disease to America
Earlier on Wednesday Ms Troh issued a statement in which she told of her ‘sorrow and anger’ at Mr Duncan’s death.
Already serious questions are being asked as to the standard of care the dead man received at Texas Presbyterian Hospital.
But at the prayer service Pastor Mason sought to place the focus firmly on he said, ‘One man who we did not know a few weeks ago but who has affected our lives forever.’
Over days of intense scrutiny anger has flared over Mr Duncan’s ‘eagerness’ to enter the country. The allegation that he lied on exit documents in Liberia by claiming he had not been exposed to Ebola when he had carried a pregnant woman dying from the virus the day before flying has been much rehearsed.
And he said it was his son and Ms Troh who begged Mr Duncan to travel to the States to be with them.
He said, ‘Karisah Eric Duncan and his mother called for Eric Duncan to come from Liberia.
‘They wanted to begin a new life together, to rekindle their family. He came in hope.’
Pastor Mason continued, ‘Eric and Louise built a castle of dreams in their hearts together that they never got to live in.’
According to Pastor Mason who is in daily contact with the now grief-stricken woman, Ms Troh told him, ‘Eric wanted to come to this country. He wanted to be a family. He wanted to work hard.
‘He wanted to gain all he could so he could go back to Liberia and build his country.’
Mr Troh told Pastor Mason that Mr Duncan was a ‘Christian man’ ‘respectful of his father and mother.’
Her recollection that he ‘knew how to talk to ladies’ provided a brief moment of levity as a ripple of recognition passed through those who were close to him.
Pastor Mason clarified, ‘She said he didn’t let anyone use bad language in front of women.
‘He cared for his children and wanted the best for them.’
Describing Ebola as ‘an unwelcome guest in our community,’ Pastor Mason urged the church that has provided spiritual and material support for Ms Troh and the boys who must remain in quarantine until 19 October, ‘to live by faith not fear.’
Pastor Mason said, ‘Every day we make a choice about how we are going ot live.‘Are we going to move away from each other because of fear? Or towards each other because of love?’
Earlier members of the Liberian community – some 10,000 strong – and residents of Vickery Meadows, the area in which the now notorious Ivy Apartment in which Mr Duncan briefly stayed, spoke of the discrimination they had experienced in the wake of this Ebola outbreak.
Dallas County Councillor Jennifer Staubach Gates told MailOnline that yesterday morning alone 15 men had come to her telling her that they had been turned away from their jobs.
She said, ‘They were told not to come back for 21 days unless they had a note from the health department.’
Tonight Pastor Mason said, ‘Every day we make a choice about how we are going to live.
‘Are we going to move away from each other because of fear? Or towards each other because of love?’
Ms Troh will not be able to say a final goodbye to Mr Ducan whose funeral will be held before her period of quarantine is over. Earlier Pastor Mason told reporters that his understanding was that the body would have to be cremated.
He was unsure as to whether his ashes would be buried or placed in a sealed urn.
Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield said that it was likely there would be ‘multiple memorial services,’ for the man who Pastor Mason said, ‘we did not know a few weeks ago (but who) has affected our lives forever.’
Last night the church that he would have been married in later this year instead ‘sang him to heaven.’
‘We can let him go,’ Pastor Mason said. ‘Without fear even with the loss.
‘Our hearts with hurt and his friends and loved ones will grieve but they know thay can trust him to God.’
Source: Mail online