The sister of 49-year-old Dr. Lorna Breen, a New York emergency room doctor in Manhattan, who recently committed suicide, is speaking out regarding her tragic death. Dr. Breen spent her final months fighting the coronavirus. However, her sister, Jennifer Feist, says she was distraught over the fact that she could not help more sick people, according to Today.
Feist opened up in an interview on Thursday regarding her sister’s mental state prior to her suicide. Dr. Breen worked at the emergency department at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital as a medical director. The number of coronavirus patients that were coming in were far more than the staff could handle. The number of deaths was staggering, and Dr. Breen was tormented by the number of lives she was not able to save.
Feist recalled her sister describing the harrowing scenes at the hospital. There were not enough resources or staff to go around.
“She said it was like Armageddon. She said, ‘There are so many sick people everywhere.’ She said, ‘People are just dying in the waiting room before they even get in. There aren’t enough hookups for the oxygen to help them. They’re not getting admitted fast enough. We can’t keep up.'”
Dr. Breen eventually became sick with the coronavirus herself. She had previously expressed to her family that her mental health was suffering. Feist drove her sister to the emergency room to be treated where she remained for 11 days. After her hospital stay, she moved in with Feist and her husband.
Feist believes there were multiple unfortunate factors that played into her sister’s tragic death. In addition to being traumatized by what she saw while treating patients, Dr. Breen also had the virus herself, which could have messed with her head.
“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.”
Feist went on to say that prior to becoming ill, Dr. Breen worked long shifts, refusing to return home and rest. Despite pleas from her family to take care of her physical and mental health, the doctor felt desperate to continue doing everything she could to help others.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Dr. Breen did not have a history of mental illness. Her father, Dr. Philip C. Breen, hopes that people will remember his daughter as a hero who gave her all while fighting this pandemic.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.