A 28-year-old Houston obstetrician-gynecologist resident who worked on the front lines of the pandemic died early Saturday after spending months hospitalized with covid-19, her family confirmed via a GoFundMe page established on her behalf.
On July 8, Adeline Fagan, originally from Syracuse, N.Y., was mainly delivering babies at an HCA Houston Healthcare hospital, but she also worked in the emergency room treating coronavirus patients. After work, “she began to feel under the weather,” her family said.
“What started as intense flu-like symptoms escalated within the week to a hospital stay,” according to her family.
As Fagan’s family is grieving her loss, the coronavirus death toll in the United States surpassed 200,000 on Tuesday, marking another milestone of loss at a time when many have become numb to the rising fatality count. The tally represents the upper boundary of a fatality range that President Trump in March said would signal that his administration had “done a very good job” of protecting Americans from the coronavirus.
As he left the White House for Pennsylvania on Tuesday evening, Trump responded to a reporter’s question about the 200,000 deaths, saying, “It’s a shame.”
As Fagan battled the disease, her doctors treated her with several respiratory therapies, various medicines and an experimental drug trial. She was intubated on Aug. 3 and put on a life-sustaining pump the next day, her family said. She had a history of asthma, upper respiratory infections and pneumonia.
Fagan’s sister, Maureen, told CNN’s Kate Bolduan that Fagan had a massive brain bleed on Friday, according to her doctors, made worse by blood thinners. Surgery was too risky, her sister said. Adeline died in her parents’ arms at 4 a.m. on Saturday.
Fagan was one of four daughters. She sang and was a leader of her medical school’s student a cappella group. To be an “Adeline” was to “be passionate about helping others less fortunate, have a smile on your face, a laugh in your heart, and a Disney tune on your lips,” her father, Brant Fagan, wrote in an online journal describing the harrowing time his daughter was ill.
“Everyone could be an Adeline,” Maureen Fagan told CNN on Tuesday, “and that’s the scary part of this. And if you can do something as simple as wearing the mask, social distancing, and just using hand sanitizer to do your part.”