Dr. Lorna M. Breen described the "devastating scenes" she witnessed at the ER before she passed away due to self-inflicted injuries.
There is no doubt that medical professionals are under immense pressure due to the ongoing pandemic. In sad news, a top emergency room doctor at a hospital in Manhattan, New York City, the epicenter of the outbreak, has died by suicide. Dr. Lorna M. Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, passed away in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was residing with her family, The New York Times reports. Though she was taken to the University of Virginia Health System hospital, she died there due to self-inflicted injuries, as per the Charlottesville Police Department. Her father Dr. Philip C. Breen claimed the "devastating scenes" she witnessed at the hospital she worked at were to blame.
Dr. Lorna M. Breen, a top emergency room doctor at a Manhattan hospital that treated coronavirus patients, died by suicide on Sunday, according to her father, Dr. Philip C. Breen. “She tried to do her job," he said, "and it killed her." https://t.co/9eOiEMdkrV— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 27, 2020
"She tried to do her job, and it killed her," her father stated in an interview. "She was truly in the trenches of the front line. Make sure she’s praised as a hero, because she was. She’s a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died." Dr. Breen had contracted the disease herself but went back to work after she recuperating for a week and a half. However, the hospital soon sent her home. Her family shortly intervened to bring her to Charlottesville. According to her father, the ER doctor did not have a history of mental illness. Nonetheless, she seemed "detached" the last time he had a chance to speak with her. During their conversation, she had described the situation at the hospital; patients were dying, she shared, even before they could be taken out of the ambulances they arrived in.
Philip C. Breen ( Lorna M. Breen Father)— WikiTrusted (@wikiagebio1) April 28, 2020
Philip C. Breen is a doctor in Fulton County, Pennsylvania. He is best known as the father of Dr. Lorna M. Breena, medical director in the emergency department of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospitalhttps://t.co/jJH2AxvdW1 pic.twitter.com/JV3SyWmU82
The NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital shortly released a statement about Dr. Breen. "Dr. Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department," they affirmed. "Our focus today is to provide support to her family, friends, and colleagues as they cope with this news during what is already an extraordinarily difficult time." In an email the hospital sent out to its staffers, they did not mention a cause of death. They did, however, defer to the family's request for privacy during this challenging period of time. The email read, "A death presents us with many questions that we may not be able to answer."
The head of the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan took her own life Sunday, her family says.— Globalwind (@Globalwind3) April 28, 2020
Dr. Lorna M. Breen was 49-years-old. pic.twitter.com/XuWNUtoejD
There is no doubt that Dr. Breen will be remembered fondly. Dr. Lawrence A. Melniker, the vice-chair for quality care at the NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, claimed that the doctor was well-respected and well-liked by her peers. He said, "You don’t get to a position like that at Allen without being very talented." In addition to the dedication she had for her job, she was committed to serving her community. Once a week, Dr. Breen would volunteer at a home for older people. She also spent her time with friends and family, was an avid member of a New York ski club, and traveled out west to ski and snowboard on a regular basis. She was, as one colleague described her, a "lively presence." As the pandemic rages on, may we remember the medical professionals who are serving at the frontlines to keep us safe and healthy. Dr. Breen, you will be deeply missed.