Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mother of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan drives 15 hours to pray by his isolation ward as doctors reveal he is showing slight improvement

Mother of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan drives 15 hours to pray by his isolation ward as doctors reveal he is showing slight improvement
Nowai Korkoya was driven 15 hours by relatives from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to Dallas
The elderly mother of Thomas Duncan prayed with the Reverend Jesse Jackson today at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
Mr Duncan is receiving the experimental anti-viral drug brincidofovir which was developed to fight herpes and small pox 
He is showing improved liver function today, doctors said, but was still in a critical condition 

Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan was showing improved liver function though he remains in critical condition, hospital officials said today, as he was visited by his elderly mother. 

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital released a statement on Tuesday saying Mr Duncan is on a ventilator and is receiving kidney dialysis. 

The hospital said his liver function improved after declining over the weekend but warned that his condition could vary in the coming days. 

His mother, Nowai Korkoya, arrived in Dallas today after being driven 15 hours by family members from her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to see her desperately ill son.

Scroll down for video 

Nowai Korkoya (pictured left) traveled from North Carolina to Texas on Monday to be near her son Thomas Duncan (right) who is fighting Ebola
Nowai Korkoya, center, mother of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, is wheeled by the Reverend Jesse Jackson after her family visited her son at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital today
The Reverend Jackson prayed with the family of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan on Wednesday in Texas

Nowai Korkoya prayed with family members and the Reverend Jesse Jackson on Tuesday. 

Reverend Jackson revealed that the family had asked for his help and his aim was to make sure Mr Duncan was receiving the best possible care.

A prayer vigil will be held at the Dallas hospital tonight, Jackson said, as he spoke in Dallas on Tuesday alongside the mother, son and other relatives of the 42-year-old Ebola patient.

The civil rights leader also called on the public to show compassion to Duncan and his family, not to ostracize them. 

Mr Duncan has been receiving doses of an experimental anti-viral drug since Saturday after his condition took a turn for the worse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

In a video message filmed for her son with NBC last week, Mrs Korkoya said: 'I love you. I pray for you to get well. My whole thinking is on you.'

Mr Duncan is receiving the drug Brincidofovir, which has shown promise in fighting the disease. The drug, developed by North Carolina-based Chimerix, is approved for the treatment of the herpes virus. 

His doctors were granted permission by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use the drug after his condition worsened.

The FDA grants emergency access to unapproved drugs on a case-by-case basis, usually when a patient faces a life-threatening condition for which there are no alternatives. The agency has not approved any drugs or vaccines to safely and effectively treat Ebola. 

Mr Duncan was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas last Tuesday after recently arriving from Liberia. He flew through Dulles International Airport in Virginia. 

Two other experimental drugs developed specifically for Ebola have been used in American patients, though it's unclear if they had any effect. 

The small supply of one drug, ZMapp, was exhausted after being used on a few patients. 

A second drug, TKM-Ebola from Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, has been used in at least one patient and is said to be in limited supply.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are monitoring 48 people who came into contact with Mr Duncan while he was exhibiting Ebola symptoms.

None are showing signs of the virus which has develops between and one and 21 days after an individual has contact with the disease.

Ashoka Mukpo, the NBC News cameraman who was diagnosed with Ebola in Liberia last week, arrived on Monday at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, one of four special treatment centers for infectious diseases in the U.S.

Mr Mukpo is in the early stages of the disease, doctors said, and is set to receive an experimental treatment. 
Mr Duncan's family members were seen arriving in Dallas, Texas on Monday to support him as he continues to fight Ebola in a quarantine unit at Texas Presbyterian hospital

Federal officials say they are confident they can stay on top of any more cases that arrive. 
President Obama on Monday announced that his administration was working on ways to screen travelers for Ebola before they enter the U.S. in an effort to prevent any other people with the virus from entering the U.S.

Currently, travelers are only screened in West Africa before they leave the Ebola-stricken nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that he is 'very confident' that America's largest city could quickly contain an outbreak of Ebola. 

New York has had at least two Ebola scares from ill travelers from West Africa, but lab tests show the patients did not have the disease.