Florida nurse struggling with trauma of treating fatally ill coronavirus patients found dead in his car
A Florida nurse who was struggling with the trauma of treating patients was found dead in his car on April 25. The nurse is believed to have died from a suspected overdose after finding it hard to deal with the trauma of dealing with Covid-19 patients, his friends and family revealed. William Coddington had been overwhelmed by the cases of fatally ill coronavirus patients in the ICU, his relatives told Reuters.
Coddington, 32, was a nurse at the JFK Medical Center located in West Palm Beach. A friend of Coddington, Robert Marks spoke to NBC Miami, "What you or I may find as upsetting, or bothersome – that life could be devastating to him." The nurse had been a recovering addict and was unable to go to his 12-step recovery meetings in person during the pandemic. His mother Carolyn said, "He couldn’t meet with his sponsor."
"And his friends, nobody wanted to see him because he worked in a hospital, not even to sit 6 feet apart," she added. In the weeks leading up to his death, Coddington had slowly started to withdraw and began speaking less and less to his mother whom he lived with, NY Post reports. He would frequently spend time alone in his room. His friend Skye Alexander said, "It was despair … creeping in." Sometime in mid-April, Coddington had taken to Facebook to talk about the lack of PPE in the hospitals where he was working on a coronavirus floor.
He had written, "In my hospital, we are rationing 1 n95 mask for my whole shift. We are running out of gowns. We are having people make makeshift face shields that end up snapping." Days before he died, Coddington's face shield had fallen off while he was helping to incubate a patient. His father Ronald recalled how his son had told him, "He literally felt things splash on his face." His family and friends also shared that they had started to check up on Coddington much more frequently over concerns that he could have a possible relapse in his decade long struggle with opioids and other substance abuse.
On April 1, Ronald had texted his son and had said, "You are so needed right now by others. You can be great. Please please bury me someday. Don’t make me bury you … I love you." On the day that Coddington was found dead, he had an argument with his mother. When his mother checked the location on his phone, it showed that he was not at the hospital. Carolyn then drove to a Deerfield Beach hotel parking where she found him dead.
Ronald revealed that the authorities had obtained a video that showed his son sitting in his car when another vehicle pulls some and some kind of exchange takes place. The Broward County Sheriff's Office revealed that they are still investigating his death but do not suspect any foul play. According to a spokeswoman for the JFK Medical Center, Kathryn Walton said that the hospital's goal was to protect employees. She also said that the hospital had "adequate supplies of PPE" and is "taking steps to conserve PPE because we do not know what our future needs will be."