City and county officials helped move a family exposed to an Ebola virus patient to a new location. Now one of them is at Presbyterian Hospital, being tested for the virus.

City and county officials helped move a family exposed to an Ebola virus patient to a new location. Now one of them is at Presbyterian Hospital, being tested for the virus: Photo from Vickery Meadow Improvement District

Most of the news media reconvened at Presbyterian Hospital on Walnut Lane Tuesday after two breaking-news events:

1. Ebola victim Eric Duncan died.

2. A man, a sheriff department deputy who spent time at the victim’s residence, was escorted to the same hospital — reportedly in an act of abundant caution — after exhibiting some symptoms.

One news crew last night was outside Wilshire Baptist Church at Abrams and Mockingbird, and I knew it had to be something Ebola related, because what else would they be covering, which is was. The church tonight is holding a memorial service for Duncan, whose fiancee is a member.

Wilshire church for years has been reaching out to refugees and immigrants from troubled countries, as noted in this recent Advocate article.

Wilshire’s associate pastor Mark Wingfield made poignant points to the Morning News’ James Ragland about this Ebola case that hit so close to home.

“If for some reason Mr. Duncan had not been able to get on a plane to the United States, he would have remained a faceless, nameless individual that we didn’t care about,” Wingfield says. “But because he came here, we know his name, his face and his story.”

And, Wingfield said, we now better understand the Ebola virus that has ravaged a vast region of West Africa, claiming more than 3,400 lives and infecting more than twice that many.

“I think it’s an indictment on us that we didn’t recognize this as a global problem we need to care about,” he says. “We only care about it now because it came knocking on our door.”

Side note: Wilshire pastor George Mason writes a monthly column for the Lake Highlands and East Dallas Advocates.

We reported yesterday that the Vickery Meadow Community is suffering unduly after becoming known as Ebola’s ground zero. The community, which houses 36,000 people who speak more than 20 languages, has seen much improvement over the last few years related to crime and overall quality of life thanks in no small part to the Vickery Meadow Improvement District, led these days by former Lake Highlands PID director Becky Range.

But the recent attention to the area showed peripherally that poverty is still a big problem there.

The Dallas Foundation yesterday announced the creation of the Vickery Meadow Assistance Fund, to support organizations, like the VMID, that help the residents of Vickery Meadow.