Family and friends of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first and so far only person to die of Ebola in the U.S., was remembered Saturday at memorial service in North Carolina as a compassionate and selfless man. Mourners celebrated the 42-year-old's life at Rowan International Church in Salisbury, where his sister, mother and nephew worship, according to NBC affiliate WCNC.
After the service, Duncan's nephew, Josephus Weeks, said his uncle “cared for everybody, he didn’t care who you were,” adding that he “cared to his own detriment sometimes.” Weeks, who grew up with Duncan but hasn’t seen him in years, said the two were like brothers. “I was looking forward to him coming here and us doing things together,” Weeks said. “Unfortunately that is never going to happen.”
Duncan died in Dallas on Oct. 8, and had started showing symptoms of the virus on Sept. 24 after travelling to Texas from Liberia. He wasn't admitted to a Dallas hospital until Sept. 28 — three days after he first visited the hospital.
Forty-eight people who had contact with Duncan in Dallas, including his fiancée, Louise Troh, are being monitored for symptoms themselves. Most of them are expected to pass through a 21-day monitoring period by Sunday. Family members who were able to attend the memorial service said Duncan was always focused on helping others and they wiped away tears while a slideshow featuring Duncan was displayed, WCNC reported. Duncan's remains were cremated in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. A spokeswoman for Troh has said another memorial service will be held for Duncan when Troh is out of isolation, which is expected to happen by midnight Sunday.
— Elisha Fieldstadt