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After a New York doctor delayed his retirement in order to provide treatment to low-income COVID-19 patients, he died of the virus himself, according to Global News.
Dr. James Mahoney died of coronavirus near the end of April. He was a physician at Kings County Hospital Center and University Hospital of Brooklyn.
He was encouraged to get away from the work by his family when they saw that the virus had become quite serious. When speaking with The Guardian, Sandra Chisholm, Mahoney’s sister said the family planned a cruise in January to mark his approaching retirement. The plans were immediately scuttled when the pandemic came along.
"There were people who were really reluctant to go into the rooms, and you could understand why," said Dr. Robert Foronjy—Mahoney's boss—when speaking to the Times. "He saw another human being in need, and he didn’t hesitate to help."
Mahoney reportedly spent his days and nights treating patients whether it was in person or by telecounseling. He was hit with a fever shortly before mid-April and was barely able to walk by April 20. He was then taken to University Hospital for treatment.
"He gave everything to that hospital. He gave his life for that hospital," said Mahoney's brother Melvin, when speaking to the Washington Post. "There are two hospitals crying. Non-stop. I’ve heard men crying like you wouldn’t believe."
"That’s how much they loved my brother."
Mahoney was 64-years-old and very well liked by his patients. He was known to give out his personal number in order to check on patients even after contracting the virus himself.
A former student of Mahoney's, Latif Salam said, "As a young Black man, I looked at this guy and said to myself, 'Twenty years from now I want to be like him.'"
"When a Black medical student, a Black resident sees him, he sees a hero. Someone that you can be one day."
"He’s our Jay-Z."
There has been a GoFundMe set up in order to raise funds to create a scholarship in Dr. Mahoney's name. The money raised will "provide tuition support to enable a deserving and talented African American applicant to attend SUNY Downstate Medical School."
There has been over US$42,000 raised so far with a goal of $100,000.