Coronavirus didn't kill this top ER doctor, depression did

Henrietta Strickland
April 30, 2020

"Doctor Lorna M. Breen was a hero who mastered the challenging tasks of the emergency room with the greatest possible effort", wrote the New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital in a moving statement.

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Father of the doctor, Philip Breen, explained how Breen loved NY, her coworkers and how the battle against COVID-19 was proving to be a tough one - but they didn't give up. New York City has been the US' pandemic epicenter, recording almost 300,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths as of Tuesday morning. And she was very close with her sisters and mother, who lived in Virginia.

'For somebody whose life's calling is helping people, and she just couldn't help enough people, the combination was just untenable'.

She took her own life Sunday while staying with family in Charlottesville, Va. However, the hospital sent her home again. "She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the front line".

The president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, of which Dr Breen was a member, said her death was a tragic reminder of the suffering that many health care workers are going through. However, he revealed, when he last spoke with her he noticed that she seemed detached and something seemed wrong, he told the Times. As of Tuesday evening, there were more than 17,600 deaths in the city.

Breen worked in the emergency room at Allen Hospital in New York, according to the New York-Presbyterian website.

She confessed to having mixed feelings when it came to people applauding outside her hospital to show their support for health care workers amid the pandemic. She had contracted the coronavirus but returned to work after about a week and a half, Breen told the Times, adding that she did not have a history of mental illness.

"Words can not convey the sense of loss we feel today". "She's a casualty just as much as anybody else who has died". Today's focus is on helping your family, friends and colleagues deal with this message in an already extremely hard time, "the hospital wrote in a message".

Her family has been left heartbroken after she died by suicide over the weekend amid the coronavirus pandemic. Rest in peace Dr. Breen.

While the current focus has focused on testing and vaccines and death tolls, "we must also begin to make mental health a priority as well so that resources are available when they are needed", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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