Ebola patient Thomas Duncan came to Dallas to get married, his girlfriend has told her pastor.
From the apartment where she hosted Duncan and was sequestered after he fell ill with Ebola, Louise Troh recently spoke by phone with her pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church. For the first time that we know of, Troh explained why Duncan traveled from Liberia to her small apartment two weeks ago—as it happened, carrying the Ebola virus to American soil.
“They were going to get married. They wanted to start a new life here,” church spokesman Mark Wingfield said.
Troh joined the church and was baptized in June, Wingfield said. He described her as “the matriarch” of a wide extended family that has been moving to Dallas.
“She’s very beloved by other and integral to their family,” he said.
Wingfield didn’t know much about Troh’s past, but believed she and Duncan met in Liberia years ago. Her Facebook page says she traveled there this year. Relatives say that Troh and Duncan have a 19-year-old son together—a college student in San Angelo—and other outlets have reported that Duncan has long been trying to move to the United States to see the boy.
After Duncan’s trip turned into a public health risk and international disaster, the church want to help the family any way it can. Though it realized Troh and Duncan are now in the hands of medical authorities.
But Wingfield also wants his congregation to know that no one from the family has attended church since Duncan arrived.
“There’s no risk of exposure,” he said.
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