Lorna Breen, 49, medical director of the New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital in Manhattan, died in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she had been staying with her family - after contracting the bug herself.

She recovered from Covid-19 and continued to treat coronavirus patients. She died as a hero, said her father, Philip Breen. Her father Philip Breen is a retired trauma surgeon, and he and his daughter would speak frequently about work, he said.

Lorna Breen told her father that her colleagues were putting in 18-hour days and sleeping in hallways, and that ambulances couldn't get in it was so busy.

Photo - In memory of Dr. Lorna Breen R.I.P.

She worked in the emergency department and had been on the front lines for weeks, handling the onslaught of cases. New York City has been the US' pandemic epicenter, recording nearly 300,000 cases and more than 22,000 deaths.

Breen contracted Covid-19 and took a week and a half off to recover, but when she went back to work, she couldn't last through a 12-hour shift. Still, she felt like she had to get back in there to help her colleagues.

Then, a doctor friend visited Breen at home and told her she should go home to Virginia, where most of her family is based. Some friends and relatives helped get her to Charlottesville. Lorna Breen soon was admitted to the hospital at the University of Virginia for exhaustion, adding that her mother is a doctor in the ward where she was treated.

After about a week, Lorna Breen left the hospital to stay with her mom. Then, last weekend, she went to stay with her sister, and that is where she died.

"Frontline healthcare professionals and first responders are not immune to the mental or physical effects of the current pandemic," said Charlottesville Police Chief RaShall Brackney. "On a daily basis, these professionals operate under the most stressful of circumstances, and the Coronavirus has introduced additional stressors."

"Words cannot convey the sense of loss we feel today," the New York City hospitals where Breen worked said in a statement.