Texas Ebola Patient Was Good Neighbor Who Helped Dying Woman

Thomas Eric Duncan carried convulsing woman before she died.

ByABC News
October 2, 2014, 3:56 PM

MONROVIA, Liberia — -- The Ebola patient being held in a Texas isolation unit was a good neighbor who helped carry a pregnant woman who was convulsing and vomiting blood to an Ebola ward and then home again less than week before he left Liberia for Texas, neighbors told ABC News.

Interviews in Monrovia with neighbors of Thomas Eric Duncan also makes it clear that the immediate area around his home has been hit hard by the Ebola virus with three people dying there in recent weeks.

Despite Duncan's experience, he checked "no" on an airport exit form when he left for the U.S. that asked if he had been in contact with anyone who had Ebola. It's not clear whether Duncan was aware that the woman died of Ebola. Liberia said today it intends to prosecute Duncan, alleging he lied on the form.

The pregnant woman who was 19 and about seven months along became sick on Friday, Sept. 12, according to neighbor Irene Seyou. On Monday, Sept. 15, she went to a clinic, but was told they couldn't help her and advised her to go to a hospital. After returning from the clinic, the woman started convulsing that night and neighbors, including Duncan, helped carry her to a taxi, which took her to the maternity ward at JFK Hospital, which wouldn't take her. The hospital's Ebola treatment unit also turned her away. They then drove to another hospital named ELWA2, which also couldn't take her, according to Seyou.

Duncan rode with her during this last trip and when the cab returned, it stopped at the edge of housing compound and Duncan helped carry her to home. During this time, she was vomiting blood, Seyou told ABC News.

She died the next day, Seyou said.

Texas Ebola Patient's Possible Contacts Now Reach 100

Health Man Thought to Have Died From Ebola Awakes After Burial Team Wraps Him Up

"Eric touched her. Eric helped the family to carry her to the hospital. When they carried the girl and brought her back, he helped to carry the girl inside, and no protection. They didn't put anything on their bodies," Seyou said.

Duncan, who was a driver for company executive in Monrovia, boarded a plane to the U.S. on Sept. 19, arriving here on Sept. 20. Health officials said he showed no symptoms of having the disease until several days after his arrival in Texas. Medical officials have said the virus can take from two to 21 days to incubate. Duncan was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on Sept. 28.

His efforts to help the woman are being viewed as a likely way that he contracted the disease and brought it to Texas. While it has made his Texas neighbors nervous, his neighbors in Monrovia are terrified.

"I'm very, very scared. I'm scared because all of us live in the same yard... I'm feeling fine, but the fear, the fear," Seyou said.

Another neighbor, Nora Gleyah, said neighborhood did not let one of the government burial teams take care of the woman's body and prepared her and buried her themselves. Many people touched her corpse, Gleyah said.

Neighbors said that since the pregnant woman died at least two other people in the community have passed away. A woman who lived next door to her became ill and died Wednesday, along with her cousin. Her god mother is currently experiencing ebola symptoms.