Prea Nankieshore LIJ Forest Hills hospital clerk handling coronavirus admissions dies of COVID-19. Another healthcare worker death while working the front lines.
Are hospitals doing enough to protect healthcare workers in the front line treatment trenches?
A clerk who registered patients in the emergency room at Long Island Jewish Forest Hills hospital has died after getting infected with the coronavirus, her family said.
Prea Nankieshore, 34, a mother of 8-year-old twins boys, succumbed to the illness on April 5. She resided with her parents in Ozone Park.
Nakieshore’s 66-year-old mother is in the intensive care unit fighting COVID-19 and her father is at home trying to beat the virus.
‘We lost a dedicated mother with a heart of gold,’ fiance Marcus Khan told via abc7ny. ‘We lost a sister. We lost a friend. I lost the love of my life.’
Khan said Prea loved her colleagues and her job and insisted on being at the hospital even as concerns about the virus escalated.
‘She said, ‘I can’t leave the hospital understaffed. They’re already flooded with patients. Doctors are working hard, and I can’t leave them like that. I have to do my part,” the fiance said.
Then last week, Prea came down with the virus and found herself becoming a patient where she worked before passing away this weekend past on April 5.
‘This is so devastating. Prea loved her job. She loved helping her sick patients. She loved her co-workers,’ Prea’s sister, Linda Singh told via the nypost.
‘Prea was on the front lines. She was the first point of contact registering patients in the ER,’ she added.
Singh, a year younger than Prea, resides elsewhere and has not been impacted.
She said her sister appeared to be healthy and did not have any underlying medical conditions that would make her more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Prea Nankieshore, 34, passed away from COVID-19. A mother of 8-year old twins, she worked in the ER at a hospital in Queens. She told her fiancé “I can’t leave the hospital understaffed. They’re already flooded with patients…I have to do my part.” https://t.co/3dg3oYrNUb
— FacesOfCOVID (@FacesOfCOVID) April 9, 2020
The hospital issued a statement mourning Nankieshore’s death.
‘We at LIJ Forest Hills are devastated by the loss of our colleague Prea Nankieshore from COVID-19. She was among the brave team members dedicated to our community and patients during this challenging time,’ said Mary Curran, chief nursing officer at LIJ Forest Hills.
Unclear is what practices LIJ Forest Hills had in place to keep healthcare workers in the front lines during the pandemic protected and for potentially testing positive.
Nankieshore began working for Northwell Health as a customer service representative in 2012. LIJ-Forest Hills is part of the Northwell Health.
In 2013, she transferred to the Forest Hills facility as a clerk in the emergency department.
‘Our team at LIJ Forest Hills is a family that now mourns the loss of one of its own. But as we grieve, we will also persevere in caring for our patients with the grace and strength that Prea displayed day in and day out,’ Curran said.
Read a GoFundMe page set up by Nankieshore’s friends to help care for her twin boys:
‘Our dear friend passed away during the fight against COVID-19. She leaves behind her two young twin boys who rely on her,’
‘She was a great loving mother and a well respected, hard working team member at the Forest Hills Emergency department. We all miss her. May her soul rest in peace. Please help us raise money to help care for her family.’
Nankieshore joins other hospital workers killed by COVID-19, among them Kious Kelly, an assistant nursing manager at Mt. Sinai’s Midtown West hospital. His death spurred complaints from staff there about a shortage of personal protective equipment. Three nurses even resorted to wearing trash bags over their scrubs to protest a lack of gowns.
About two-thirds of nurses say their hospitals have inadequate protective equipments and 72 percent said they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, a survey conducted by the NYS Nursing Association found.
Also of note was the recent passing of three Detroit, Michigan area nurses who in the days prior to their death had asked but were denied testing kits while working on the front line.
More than 151,171 individuals have contracted coronavirus in New York state, with over 6268 deaths- including 3,600 from the city, according to new data released Wednesday by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.