For more than a year, our nation’s health care workers have been running at full speed. They are overworked and exhausted, all while treating patients with COVID-19, some of whom have recovered from the virus and others who haven’t – and may never. All this stress, death and fear understandably have taken a toll on these front-line workers and their families.
During the past 16 months, our family has grieved the loss of our beloved sister and sister-in-law, Dr. Lorna Breen, an accomplished New York City emergency room physician and leader who made headlines last year for reasons that changed our lives forever. Lorna pushed herself beyond her limits, treating patients with severe COVID-19 around the clock. She contracted the coronavirus herself, recovered and went right back to work. When she returned to the hospital, she was confronted by an even more overwhelming, relentless number of incredibly sick patients – not to mention insufficient supplies, not enough beds and not enough help.
Like health care workers today, many of whom are fighting a new battle to save patients from the deadly delta variant, Lorna needed help. And tragically, she didn’t receive it.