Jesse Jackson, Ebola Patient's Family "Hopeful" - NBC New York
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Jesse Jackson, Ebola Patient's Family "Hopeful"

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    Duncan's Family Meets With Jesse Jackson

    Rev. Jesse Jackson met with Thomas Duncan's family Tuesday, then held a prayer vigil for the Ebola patient outside Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014)

    The Rev. Jesse Jackson held a prayer vigil with the family of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan at the Dallas hospital where he is being treated for the potentially deadly virus Tuesday.

    The civil rights leader spoke alongside Duncan's mother, son and other relatives and called on the public to show compassion to Duncan and his family, not to ostracize them.

    Jackson joined the family as they met with doctors and hoped to see Duncan, who is in critical but stable condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. Duncan has been in isolation there since he became the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States last week.

    "There was a sense of urgency here, and there were signs today that were hopeful," said Jackson.

    Both Jackson and Duncan's family have been critical of the way the Liberian man was first treated by the hospital.

    "He came here explaining that he came from Liberia and he had all off the symptoms that would indicate he might have had Ebola, and they sent him home," said Duncan's nephew Josephus Weeks.

    Duncan was given the experimental drug brincidofovir on Saturday, and the hospital said his liver function, which had declined over the weekend, had improved Tuesday.

    "We're happy with the care he's getting now. He should have got this care a week ago," said Weeks. "That's my point."

    Weeks said Duncan's blood pressure, heart rate and temperature had returned to normal Tuesday, but he's still receiving kidney dialysis.

    "Until the lung and kidney signs get better and he can create his own urine flow, they will not say anything yet. But I left hopeful," said Jackson.