FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The fiancee and family of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan hope a settlement and a book deal will provide closure after his death and opportunities to bolster his legacy.
Duncan’s fiancee Louise Troh is writing a memoir for release in April, Weinstein Books announced Thursday. The publisher is a joint venture between The Weinstein Company and The Perseus Books Group.
The book “will tell the story of her and her family’s ordeal,” according to her publicist. Troh told The Associated Press that it will be a “love story” about meeting Duncan two decades ago in a refugee camp in Ivory Coast while a civil war raged in their home country, Liberia.
The announcement came a day after an attorney for Duncan’s parents and four children said the family had reached a settlement with Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where Duncan, the only Ebola patient to die in the U.S., was treated.
Troh, a nursing home assistant who wasn’t part of the settlement, said she will use part of her advance for a down payment on a new home.
She said she’s living in her daughter’s two-bedroom apartment with nine other people because she has not been able to find a place to rent since finishing 21 days of quarantine.
Troh’s church and Dallas County are also raising money to help her replace household items lost when cleaning crews stripped the apartment where Duncan stayed, incinerating most of the contents.
The hospital’s settlement includes an undisclosed payment to the family and the creation of a charitable fund in the Liberian man’s name, according to the family’s attorney, Les Weisbrod.
Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks told AP that he wants the fund used to build a hospital in Liberia specializing in infectious disease.
Weeks has previously been critical of the care Duncan received, saying he believes his death was partly due to his race, nationality and lack of insurance. But on Wednesday he spoke in a more conciliatory tone.
“It will be a good recovery for them, and it will help the family to know that Thomas Eric Duncan’s name is being used in the right way and good things are being done in his honor,” Weeks said.
The hospital has repeatedly said Weeks’ allegations about Duncan’s care are untrue, and spokesman Wendell Watson did so again Thursday.
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