Duncan’s Nurses: We Held His Hand When Nobody Else Would

The last people to hold Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan’s hands to comfort him as he was dying at Dallas’ Texas Presbyterian Hospital were his nurses, some of whom will appear on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday to explain how they tried to save the Liberian while risking their own lives.

The nurses, John Mulligan, Krista Maxwell, Richard Townsend, and Sedia Rose, will explain the ordeal in their first media interviews following Duncan’s death to 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. The man was the first and only Ebola patient to die from the disease in the United States.

“I was very frightened,” Rose told Pelley. “I was. But, and I just dried my tears, rolled down my sleeves, so to speak, and went on about my night.”

Duncan had come to the hospital on Sept. 25 with a low-grade fever, but was sent home, only to return three days later with full-blown Ebola symptoms, including a temperature of 103 degrees.

Mulligan, an intensive care nurse who treated Duncan during his final hours, said that by the time he saw Duncan on Oct. 1, his nausea and vomiting had subsided.

But Duncan had to have rectal tubes inserted, said Mulligan, as he “had gotten so weak, he couldn’t get up to the commodes anymore,” said Mulligan. “So that was to help contain all of his very infectious body fluids that we were dealing with.”