28-Year-Old Texas Doctor Dies of COVID-19 After Reusing PPE Due to Shortages

After medical school, Dr. Adeline Fagan  left her home state of New York in 2019 and moved to Texas to begin her career as an OB-GYN. This year, in 2020, she was in her second year of residency when the pandemic hit. 

Adeline’s sister, Maurine, moved to Texas to keep her sister company, and she was there to witness what turned out to be a bad situation that only got worse.

In a GoFundMe that Maurine set up for her sister, Maurine wrote, “Adeline, an OB/GYN resident physician, was starting her second year of residency in Texas when she got sick. On July 8th Adeline went into work for her 12 hour shift in the ER. While she mostly works delivering babies, she was doing a rotation in the ER, treating COVID patients.”

Later, Adeline developed symptoms of COVID and tested positive for the virus. She started her treatment at home, but one day Maurine noticed that her sister’s lips looked blue and insisted that she go to the hospital.

Maurine believes that one of the reasons Adeline got sick was that she would reuse the same PPE over and over again. According to Maurine, “Adeline had an N95 mask and had her name written on it. Adeline wore the same N95 for weeks and weeks, if not months and months.” Meanwhile, the CDC recommends only wearing the same N95 no more than 5 times.

Selena Mejia is a spokeswoman for HCA West, the hospital where Adeline worked. Mejia said, “Our protocol, based on CDC guidance, includes colleagues turning in their N95 masks at the conclusion of each shift, and receiving another mask at the beginning of their next shift.”

Whether Adeline got COVID from wearing the same PPE, from being in the ER or from something else, the 28-year-old got COVID, and it didn’t end well.

Maurine originally set up the GoFundMe to raise money for her sister’s hospital bills, but now the money raised is also being used for funeral expenses. Adeline was in the hospital for a couple months, and while she seemed to start her recovery, her father, Brant Fagan, updated the GoFundMe information on September 19th saying that their “world stopped.” Adeline had died.

Watch the video below for more information about this heartbreaking story and to hear from one of Adeline’s former patients.

Adeline’s father wrote on the GoFundMe, “If you can do one thing, be an ‘Adeline’ in the world. 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.”