An emergency room doctor died after displaying coronavirus symptoms. His best friend said he 'lost his life needlessly' due to lack of protective equipment.
- 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.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
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.Advertisement
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."Advertisement
Have a news tip? Email this reporter: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email email@example.com and tell us your story.And get the latest coronavirus analysis and research from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses.Advertisement
Dr. Frank Gabrin had been treating coronavirus patients on the front lines. He died in his husband's arms just days after showing symptoms.- Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) April 2, 2020
His heartbroken husband honors his memory tonight on the show as a hero "who loved to help people." pic.twitter.com/SKAHH9txlt