Heartbreaking stories about the victims of America’s coronavirus pandemic are emerging as the country’s death toll soars above 4,000.
Emergency room doctor Frank Gabrin, 60, died in his husband’s arms at their New York City home Tuesday, just days after he began developing symptoms related to COVID-19.
His heartbroken widower, Arnold Vargas, told NJ.com Wednesday that the couple spent half an hour on hold waiting for an ambulance to arrive while Gabrin struggled to breathe. He died before help arrived.
Gabrin worked at two New Jersey hospitals, and continued treating patients despite the fact he had survived cancer on two separate occasions making him high-risk.
‘He never complained about anything, he just wanted to work and help people,’ Vargas said.
However, late last week, Gabrin came down with flu-like symptoms that quickly worsened.
Emergency room doctor Frank Gabrin, 60, died in his husband’s arms at their New York City home Tuesday, just days after he began developing symptoms related to COVID-19
Dr Gabrin is pictured in a recent photo with his husband Arnola Vargas
Gabrin’s best friend claims that the doctor may have fallen ill due to re-using PPE equipment while working at the hospital.
‘Symptoms developed 9 days after he’d been forced to use the same mask for multiple shifts. He was told to self quarantine. He woke up this morning and couldn’t breathe. In less than two hours he was gone. He never made it to a hospital,’ she wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
Meanwhile, a 30-year-old high school teacher and baseball coach from neighboring New Jersey succumbed to COVID-19 Monday – after he was discharged from hospital.
Ben Luderer tested positive to the coronavirus last week after his wife, Brandy, was earlier diagnosed with the virus.
Ben Luderer tested positive to the coronavirus last week after his wife, Brandy, was earlier diagnosed with the virus
Luderer is picture with his wife Brandy in a recent Facebook photo
While she recovered, Luderer was hit hard by the illness and was hospitalized last Friday. His condition improved, before he was released Sunday.
However, things quickly took a turn for the worse that evening, with Brandy telling BuzzFeed: ‘He was sweating through his clothes. He was scared’.
He was dead by 6am the following morning.
Luderer’s father, Bill, paid tribute to his son in an interview with ABC 7 stating; ‘Ben is a gift that was given to us that we were happy and privileged to have had for 30 years.
‘He was a wonderful person and connected with everybody that he knew. He had a great sense of humor, he was kind of sarcastic at times, but he was loving and caring.’
Johnny Lee Baynes, 64, has also been named as one of the virus’ latest victims
Meanwhile, prominent Brooklyn judge Johnny Lee Baynes, 64, has also been named as one of the virus’ latest victims.
Baynes died in hospital last Thursday of pneumonia related to COVID-19.
His death has left New York City’s legal community shaken, with the Baynes being remembered as a ‘fair jurist, who gave time to anyone who came before the court’, according to The New York Daily News.
Baynes had been practicing law since passing the bar back in 1985, and had been working at the Civil Court in Downtown Brooklyn for the past 15 years.
‘You were heard in his courtroom. He was just a very wonderful individual,’ Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Lisa Ottley told The Daily News.
The coronavirus death toll has soared above 4000 in the United States