28-Year-Old OB/GYN Dies After Months Of Fighting Coronavirus

by Valerie Williams

Dr. Adeline Fagan died after several weeks in the hospital battling coronavirus

A 28-year-old Houston ob/gyn has died after spending weeks in the hospital fighting coronavirus. She was in her second year of residency and while she mostly worked as an ob/gyn, she was covering the ER and treating COVID patients when she became ill herself.

In a heartbreaking GoFundMe post, Fagan’s family tells her story from when she first contracted the virus to the day she died. “Adeline, an OB/GYN resident physician, was starting her second year of residency in Texas when she got sick,” they write. “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. That morning she went into work feeling well and excited to see patients, but by the evening she began to feel under the weather.”

The family explains that “intense flu-like symptoms” meant Fagan entering the hospital within a week of her diagnosis. She went through weeks of respiratory therapies and “was put on dozens of drugs” including an experimental trial. Sadly, Fagan’s lungs failed before the new drug had a chance to work. Her journey through the illness saw the young physician being placed on ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). It was projected that she would be on ECMO and the ventilator for 6-8 weeks, but ultimately, didn’t survive.

Right before her death, Adeline was “doing wonderfully” for a few days but then suffered a massive brain bleed. Her neurosurgeon said she had a “1 in a million” chance of surviving the procedure needed to repair the bleed and even if she lived, she would have “several severe cognitive and sensory limitations.”

“Everyone was crushed by the events, the nurses, the doctors, and, of course, us,” her family writes. “The doctor said they have seen this type of event in COVID patients that spend time on ECMO. The vascular system is also compromised by the virus, resulting in bleeds. We spent the remaining minutes hugging, comforting, and talking to Adeline. And then the world stopped…”

Her father, Brant Fagan, shared a heartbreaking GoFundMe update on September 19, the day she died.

“The time the world stopped for a moment and will never be the same.

Our beautiful daughter, sister, friend, physician, Adeline Marie Fagan, MD passed away.

We want to sincerely thank all who supported Adeline and us through this difficult time. You were all there cheering and praying and crying. The number of well wishes and caring people humbles us. Even in this darkest of times, there are good people willing to share a piece of themselves for the sake of another.

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.”

The GoFundMe posts explain that Fagan’s parents live in Syracuse, NY but had traveled to Houston to be with their daughter throughout her illness. As a result, her mother was unable to continue working and the family’s expenses were mounting. The GoFundMe funds will go toward “medical expenses, her bills, travel expenses, and to support the family while we navigate this difficult time.”