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ER Doctor Who Continued To Treat COVID-19 Patients After Her Recovery Dies By Suicide

Dr Lorna Breen, aged 49, died a hero, said her father.

Cover image via The Washington Post & The Guardian

An emergency room (ER) doctor who was treating COVID-19 patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital has died by suicide

She died of self-inflicted injuries on Sunday, 26 April.

Identified as 49-year-old Dr Lorna Breen, she was the medical director of the emergency department at the Hospital. She was staying with her family in Charlottesville, Virginia.

According to USA Today, city police responded to a call for medical assistance and took Breen to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where she succumbed to her self-inflicted injuries.

Dr Lorna Breen, a top emergency room doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital.

Image via The Washington Post

Her father said that Breen "died a hero"

"She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the frontline," said her father.

According to CNN, the father, Philip Breen, said that his daughter "was a hero".

"She loved New York and wouldn't hear about living anywhere else. She loved her co-workers and did what she could for them. I just want people to know how special she was," he added.

Image via CNN

She was a COVID-19 survivor after she recovered from the disease

According to her father, Breen had been on the frontlines for weeks, handling the onslaught of cases.

He said that while she did not have a history of mental illness, the last time he spoke with her, Breen seemed detached, reported The New York Times.

In the US, the coronavirus has infected over 1,064,000 with more than 61,600 of them killed.

Police officials said the emotional toll of her job in recent months is at least partly to blame.

"Frontline healthcare professionals and first responders are not immune to the mental or physical effects of the current pandemic," Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney said.

"On a daily basis, these professionals operate under the most stressful of circumstances, and the coronavirus has introduced additional stressors."

In the statement issued on 27 April, Brackney added that while Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can reduce the likelihood of being infected, "what they cannot protect heroes like Dr Lorna Breen, or our first responders against is the emotional and mental devastation caused by this disease".

Suicide is never the answer.

If you or anyone you know may be at risk of suicide, please call these Malaysian hotlines:

1. ALL WOMEN'S ACTION SOCIETY (AWAM) - TELENITA
Address: 85, Jalan 21/1, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact: +603-7877 0224 | Website

2. BEFRIENDERS
Address: 95 Jalan Templer, 46000, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact: +603-7956 8144 | +603-7956 8145 | [email protected]Website

3. DBKL TELECOUNSELLING
Address: Tingkat 1, Menara DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut 50350 Kuala Lumpur.
Contact: 1800-88-2600 | 03-26179905

4. TALIAN NUR
Contact: 15999 | [email protected]

5. WOMEN'S AID ORGANISATION (WAO)
Contact: +03-7956 3488 |[email protected] | Website

In the UK, a Malaysian doctor died after contracting COVID-19:

In Indonesia, a doctor died from the disease after postponing his wedding as he continued to see patients amidst the pandemic:

Meanwhile, politicians around the world are looking to issue 'immunity passports' for people who have recovered from COVID-19: