An ER doctor in the US died within one week after displaying Covid-19 symptoms
- Dr. Frank Gabrin, a two-time cancer survivor, woke up gasping for air on Tuesday.
- His husband told NJ.com that Gabrin, an emergency room doctor in New Jersey, had to reuse personal protective equipment. The hospitals Gabrin worked at, however, told NBC New York that they were stocked.
- "Frank made it very clear that it's not about what happens - it's not about the outcome, you don't get to save every patient - but it's about what you do with the outcome," his friend, Deborah Lyons, told CNN on Wednesday.
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An emergency room doctor died in his husband's arms on Tuesday, a week after first noticing symptoms consistent with Covid-19 - and after earlier being forced by shortages to reuse masks and gowns while treating patients with the novel coronavirus two weeks ago, his husband alleges.
"He loved to help people," Arnold Vargas, Dr. Frank Gabrin's bereaved spouse, told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Wednesday. Speaking less than 24 hours after Gabrin died suddenly after waking up unable to breathe, Vargas, weeping, was unable to continue.
Dr. Frank Gabrin had been treating coronavirus patients on the front lines. He died in his husbandâ€™s arms just days after showing symptoms.
Earlier, Vargas told NJ.com that his husband, who worked at East Orange General Hospital in New Jersey, and St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Queens, New York, woke up on Tuesday saying: "Baby, I can't breathe." Vargas told the news site that Gabrin reused N-95 masks and hospital gowns while treating patients. Both hospitals told NBC New York that they were stocked with personal protective equipment.
Gabrin was reportedly on the front lines two weeks ago, when around a week ago he developed symptoms. He was never tested for Covid-19 but had symptoms that were consistent with the disease, NJ.com reported.
On CNN, Deborah Lyons, a close friend, said Gabrin's condition rapidly deteriorated. "He didn't expect this to happen," she said. "It went from manageable to unmanageable overnight."
She said that Gabrin, a two-time cancer survivor, "lost his life needlessly," and said he would have wanted her and his husband to speak to the media for a simple reason: to save others.
"Frank made it very clear that it's not about what happens - it's not about the outcome, you don't get to save every patient - but it's about what you do with the outcome," she said.
"It's a big thing we're asking them to face, with no tools," Lyons continued. "Being on the frontlines is what each one of these health care workers prepared themselves for; they did not expect to have to go to it with nothing."
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