For first time since his father was diagnosed with the Ebola virus, the son of Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan is speaking out publicly Tuesday.
"I just came down here because I feel God was calling me to see my dad," said 19-year-old Karsiah Duncan.
His father remains in critical condition at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, and health officials are monitoring the teen's mother, Louise Troh, for 21 days, making sure she shows no signs of having the virus herself.
"I want to thank my mom for her strength," said Karsiah Duncan, a student at Angelo State University. "She's been having going through all this being strong. Everything is hard being in the house for 21 days, not knowing what's going to happen after she gets out."
Celebrities such as Iyanla Vanzant and Chris Brown have reached out to Duncan's son to offer their support, and President Barack Obama has shared his support for the family as well. The Rev. Jesse Jackson led a prayer vigil earlier Tuesday outside Presbyterian Hospital for Thomas Duncan.
"What we saw was very painful," Duncan's nephew Josephus Weeks said. "He wasn't looking good."
Family members and Jackson have expressed their concern that Thomas Duncan was discharged from the hospital, only to return two days later with more severe symptoms of the virus.
"He should have been treated earlier," said Jackson, who came to Dallas at the request of the family. "But he is being treated now and I hope not too late."
"It's been tough, it's been stressful, all of the above," said Weeks. "It's been hard for us."
Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas has been praying for Thomas Eric Duncan and Troh ever since finding out about the Ebola virus diagnosis. Troh has been a member of the church since before her baptism in June 2014.
The church will hold a prayer vigil for members of the Liberian community at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at 4316 Abrams Road.
Senior Pastor George Mason has said he speaks with Troh daily by phone from her new isolation area. He said he won't be able to visit in person until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approves his request.
Mason and Troh have talked about relying on prayer during her monitoring period and as Thomas Duncan recovers in isolation at the hospital.
Mason said while Troh and her family have not been to church since Thomas Duncan arrived in the United States, his church continues to offer prayer and encouragement to Troh and her family members in quarantine.
Photo Credit: NBC 5 News