Coronavirus News: Emergency director at NYC hospital dies by suicide: Police

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital who worked with COVID-19 patients died by suicide this week.

Police in Virginia say Dr. Lorna Breen died Sunday.

Her father told the New York Times that the 49-year-old had contracted the virus but recovered.

He said the last time they spoke she described the "onslaught of patients who were dying before they could even be taken out of ambulances."

A friend and former colleague of Breen's spoke with ABC News.

"I originally felt sad and now I just feel devastated," said Dr. Debbie Yi Madhok. "With all these people who are asking for lockdown to end, what about us?"

Her father told the New York Times to "make sure she's praised as a hero, because she was."

Columbia University Irving Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian released the following statement:

"Words cannot convey the sense of loss we feel today. Dr. Breen is a hero who brought the highest ideals of medicine to the challenging front lines of the emergency department. 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."

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It is free and confidential.

MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE



COVID-19 Help, Information and Resources

UPDATES

Grieving the lost: Tri-State residents who have died
New York state
New Jersey
Connecticut
Long Island



RELATED INFORMATION

Share your coronavirus story with Eyewitness News
Stimulus check scams and other coronavirus hoaxes
Coronavirus prevention: how clean are your hands?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
Total count of NYC COVID-19 cases based on patient address

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.