After some serious internal missteps and obvious public bungling in handling the nation’s first diagnosed case of Ebola, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas has taken a giant step on the road to recovery.
The hospital, whose parent company is Arlington-based Texas Health Resources, was the medical center where Thomas Eric Duncan first sought treatment in September after having arrived from Ebola-stricken Liberia.
Although his fever spiked to 103 degrees when he arrived at the emergency room Sept. 25, Duncan’s health condition was misdiagnosed. He was sent home with antibiotics to treat a sinus infection, only to return three days later in worse condition: definitely suffering with Ebola.
Duncan died Oct. 8.
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The hospital and Duncan’s family reached a settlement Wednesday which includes an undisclosed financial amount that will take care of his parents and four children. In addition, Presbyterian and THR will create and donate in Duncan’s name to a charitable trust that will aid Ebola victims in Africa.
A private letter of apology also was sent to the family from THR’s chief executive officer.
This quick action by one of the largest faith-based nonprofit healthcare systems in the country no doubt brought some relief and comfort to a grieving family but also went a long way in repairing THR’s credibility.
In addition to avoiding a drawn-out and expensive lawsuit, the magnanimous way in which the settlement was handled helped to reassure the public that one of North Texas’ premier hospitals is a caring institution with an emphasis on serving the community.
With the creation of the Texas Health Dallas Thomas Eric Duncan Memorial Fund, that community now extends far beyond the city limits of Dallas.
Where it once drew criticism, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas is now receiving praise, even from one of Duncan’s nephews who earlier had lambasted the facility.
According to The Dallas Morning News, nephew Josephus Weeks said Wednesday, “I believe this is an outstanding facility. If I got sick and Texas Presbyterian was close to me, I would go there and get treated.”
That’s quite an endorsement.