An endowed scholarship fund to train doctors, nurses and physician assistants in Liberia was announced Monday by Texas Health Resources, the family of Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan and SIM USA, a mission organization.The hospital company donated $125,000 in seed money to the Thomas Eric Duncan Endowed Chair, said Dr. Jeffrey Canose, THR’s chief operating officer.He said the educational fund was intended to “honor Mr. Duncan’s memory” and fulfill a commitment the company had made to the Duncan family. Duncan, a Liberian native, came to Dallas last fall and subsequently developed Ebola, a viral disease that often is fatal. He was the first person diagnosed with Ebola virus disease in the U.S. He died at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Oct. 8.At the half-hour ceremony, Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, thanked Texas Health for fulfilling its promise to set up the scholarship fund..“Thank you for everything you did for Eric,” Weeks said. “I believe for sure that you did the best you can.”Duncan’s parents and children reached an undisclosed cash settlement in November with Texas Health Resources after alleging that Duncan had received inadequate medical careAs part of the scholarship announcement, David and Nancy Writebol also shared their experience of service in Liberia. She also was infected with Ebola while working with Ebola victims in Liberia and was returned to the U.S. for successful treatment.David Writebol, who heads the SIMS mission in Liberia, noted that the country is five days from meeting the official definition of Ebola being eradicated there. “May 9th will be the 42nd day of Liberia being Ebola-free,” he said.Canose thanked the extended Duncan family, including his parents, who attended the event.“We would like to express our deepest and most heart-felt appreciation to the Duncan family and SIM,” he said. THR “is humbled to make this legacy today to Mr. Duncan’s memory.”A statement released by THR said the scholarship represents “the commitment made when Texas Health and representatives of the Duncan family amicably resolved issues related to Mr. Duncan’s treatment at Texas Health Dallas for Ebola Virus Disease last year.”SIM USA is an international mission organization with more than 4,000 active missionaries serving in more than 65 countries.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! JERUSALEM (AP) – Strains of Mozart filled the hospital room where Ariel Sharon moved his limbs for the first time since suffering a massive stroke five days earlier. The small movements were responses to pain. Doctors hoped he would respond to the pleasure of classical music as well. On Monday, doctors cut down on sedatives that have kept Sharon in a medically induced coma and began extensive tests to determine how much damage the stroke caused. In the coming days, doctors must discern whether Sharon will ever be lucid enough to return to power, with experts expressing doubts. If not, Israel’s Cabinet would have to choose a successor to serve as premier until March 28 elections, and the campaign, on hold because of Sharon’s illness, could get underway. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – Sharon’s loyal ally and a proponent of unilateral withdrawals from more Palestinian-claimed lands – is seen as the most likely heir. The Palestinians’ political future, which was to be decided in Jan. 25 parliamentary elections, also appeared in limbo. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Monday that the vote would take place on time, but Palestinian Interior Minister Nasser Yousef warned his security forces would not be able to protect polling stations against gunmen. Abbas’ Fatah Party fears it will be embarrassed by the Islamic militant Hamas in the election, and there is concern Fatah-linked gangs will attack polling stations if defeat becomes apparent. Before Sharon’s stroke last week, he had been expected to handily win re-election, then use his third term to try to draw Israel’s final borders by pulling out of large parts of the West Bank and completing a separation barrier with the Palestinians. Former President Clinton said Sharon’s stroke is a blow to peace efforts. “All of us who believe in peace in the Middle East are in his debt, and so more than anything else, I pray for his health,” he said. On Monday, doctors at Hadassah Hospital began gradually reducing Sharon’s sedatives to rouse him from the induced coma he has been in for five days so they can assess brain damage. They are also hoping Sharon, a classical music aficionado, will respond to the music playing in his room. Dr. David Liebeskind: an associate neurology director of the UCLA Stroke Center who is not involved in Sharon’s treatment, said it was “relatively unusual” to try to stimulate response of a stroke patient or someone coming out of a medical coma through music but he noted that there is no specific protocol “for how to rouse such a patient.” “This is not a standard approach but as the brain is quite complex, it might respond to various types of input,” he said. “There are specific parts of the brain that may respond more so to musical stimuli.” Doctors said Sharon’s chances of survival have improved, but he is not out of danger. They said they will not have a full picture for several days. “We are just at the beginning of a very long way,” said his chief surgeon, Dr. Felix Umansky, briefing reporters for the first time. “It’s too early to talk about the cognitive issue.” After the level of sedatives dropped, Sharon started breathing on his own, though he remains hooked up to a respirator and unconscious. He also lifted his right hand and leg slightly in response to pain stimulation, said Dr. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, the director of Hadassah. Sharon’s response is a “very important” sign and indicated his brain stem is working, but it’s still too early to assess what impact the massive bleeding he suffered in his right brain would have on his cognitive abilities or on the left side of his body, Umansky said. Doctors will continue lowering the level of sedatives in Sharon’s body over the next several days, he said. Sharon has not yet opened his eyes – doctors were hoping he would do so when the sedative levels dropped further – and outside experts cautioned there is no assurance he will wake up at all. “His chances of survival are better than if the respiratory center had been damaged, but that still doesn’t mean he’s going to survive,” said Dr. John Martin, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at University College in London. Martin said Sharon’s weight and age work against him. Doctors had kept Sharon in an induced coma and on a respirator since Thursday to give him time to recover from the stroke and three brain surgeries. Umansky said the doctors could put Sharon under again if his condition worsens. If it is determined that Sharon is permanently incapacitated, the Cabinet would have to elect a new prime minister within 24 hours, from among the five sitting Kadima Cabinet ministers who are also lawmakers. Olmert, who is among the five, was named acting prime minister after Sharon’s stroke. The uncertainty over Sharon’s condition has unsettled Israelis. At the entrance to the hospital Monday, three Jerusalemites hung up a white sheet with blue lettering in English and Hebrew that read, “Ariel Sharon, there is more to do, please wake up.” In the Gaza Strip, where Sharon is reviled for his tough policies on Palestinians, 40 masked gunmen from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades militant group held a demonstration against the Israeli prime minister. One held a gun to a photo of Sharon that was labeled “the killer of children” and then burned the picture. And Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Monday that Sharon’s death would be a serious defeat for United States policy in the Middle East, state-run radio reported. “The Americans have been defeated in Palestine since the butcher of the Palestinians, who intended to destroy the Palestinian Intifada, has come to his end,” the radio quoted Khamenei as saying to a group of visitors. Amid uncertainty over Sharon, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was sending two envoys to the Middle East, to try to resolve an Israeli-Palestinian dispute over the participation of Arab residents of Jerusalem in the Palestinian parliament election. Abbas said Monday he has received U.S. assurances Palestinians will be able to vote in the city, despite Israeli opposition.