AN ER doctor who tragically killed herself as she felt unable to "help enough" coronavirus patients had her brain altered by the virus, her family said.
Lorna Breen, 49, medical director of the New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she had been staying with her family – after contracting the bug herself.
During an interview with Today, which is set to air on Thursday, Jennifer and Corey Feist, Breen's sister and brother-in-law, spoke about the toll the coronavirus pandemic took on the doctor.
After being asked if she believed her sister's death was a result of being ill from the coronavirus or from working on the frontline, Jennifer said: "I know in my heart that it was both.
"She had COVID. And I believe that it altered her brain. Then she went back to the most horrific, unimaginable conditions.
"And for somebody whose life's calling is helping people, and she just couldn't help enough people.
"And the combination was just untenable."
Jennifer said that she told her sister to rest from work before her death.
She said: "I kept telling my sister, you know, 'You can't — if you can't function, you can't help anybody.
"You have to sleep. You have to rest.' And she just didn't want to give up.
"She would not give up. She would not let it break her, which, of course, it did."
The top doc had been staying with her parents in Virginia after contracting COVID-19.
She had tried to return to work at the Manhattan hospital after just under a fortnight recuperating, but was sent away.
The coronavirus has devastated the United States, having killed at least 58,355 Americans.
The country currently has a total of 1,012,583 confirmed cases.
However, 115,936 have recovered from the disease.
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