Nurse treating coronavirus patients dies in NY hospital where workers were forced to wear trash bags as gowns

48-year-old Kious Kelly died in a Manhattan hospital on Tuesday night, a week after he was admitted upon testing positive for COVID-19


                            Nurse treating coronavirus patients dies in NY hospital where workers were forced to wear trash bags as gowns
(Getty Images)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: An assistant nursing manager at a New York hospital, where staff members were seen wearing garbage bags as gowns, has died because of coronavirus. Kious Kelly died on Tuesday night, March 24, a week after he was admitted upon testing positive for COVID-19.

The 48-year-old died at Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan, where he used to work. Like several other hospitals in New York, his hospital has also been hit by the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as isolation gowns and masks.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member of our nursing staff. The safety of our staff and patients has never been of greater importance and we are taking every precaution possible to protect everyone.

"But this growing crisis is not abating and has already devastated hundreds of families in New York and turned our frontline professionals into true American heroes. Today, we lost another hero - a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver,” read a statement by Mount Sinai West hospital on Facebook.

Many of Kelly’s colleagues have also expressed their sorrow on his death and said he "didn’t deserve this." One nurse said, “The hospital should be held responsible. The hospital killed him.” 

While another explained that the issues with the supplies are for a year now, during which it got “to the point where we had to hide our own supplies and go to other units looking for stuff because even the supply room would have nothing most of the time”.

“But when we started getting COVID patients it became critical,” the nurse added.

Another nurse described Kelly as “a brother to me". “He was willing to help others in need, especially in this coronavirus outbreak,” the nurse said.

One of Kelly’s nursing school classmates also expressed his grief at his death in a Facebook post. Annie K. Lee wrote on the social media, “I was devastated today by the exponential loss of our NYU nursing school friend, and esteemed colleague, Kious Kelly. Kious died last night, at Mt. Sinai West, the hospital he also worked at, from COVID19.

“I still remember hugging Kious on graduation day. I am at a loss for words and cannot even begin to describe how sorry I am, that the world has lost a flame as bright as you, in this unforgiving Coronavirus worldwide pandemic.

"Your intelligence, naturally caring and loving personality, made you the perfect fit to be a Registered Nurse, and healer. Thank you for your dedication.. thank you for your laughter.. thank you for your contribution to everyone around you. You will forever be missed," she said in the emotional post.

Lee also urged people to help and support healthcare workers as she posted: “GIVE your unnecessarily stocked masks, N95s, N99s, gloves, isolation gowns, and Medical Protective Gear to your local hospitals. Go to gofundme.com, search PPE, and donate money to multiple go fund me pages to support hospitals in DIRE NEED of PPE to continue batting this indiscriminating worldwide pandemic!

"Or BUY PPE on websites and GIVE THEM to the healthcare providers on the frontlines! Without your healthcare providers, there is no hope.” 

“Rest In Peace, Kious,” Lee wrote as she ended her post.

Meanwhile, a shocking picture just a day before Kelly's death has also emerged online showing three nurses at Mount Sinai West posing in a hallway wearing large, black plastic garbage bags as protective wears. The image also shows one of them holding an open box of 20 Hefty “Strong” 33-gallon trash bags they are using to ‘protect’ themselves.

The caption with the disturbing picture read, “NO MORE GOWNS IN THE WHOLE HOSPITAL. NO MORE MASKS AND REUSING THE DISPOSABLE ONES…NURSES FIGURING IT OUT DURING COVID-19 CRISIS.” The caption also includes hashtags like #heftytotherescue, #riskingourlivestosaveyours, and #pleasedonateppe.

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