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COVID-19: North Jersey ER Doc Who Survived Cancer Twice Dies In Husband's Arms

Frank Gabrin
Frank Gabrin Photo Credit: Frank Gabrin Facebook

An East Orange General Hospital emergency room doctor who twice survived cancer died Tuesday -- a week after developing symptoms of coronavirus.

Dr. Frank Gabrin, 60, woke up with chest pain and other symptoms March 24, his husband, Arnold Vargas said. 

On March 31, Gabrin woke up saying he couldn't breathe, and died later that day.

Gabrin, who stayed home from work last Thursday, was not tested for coronavirus but he and his husband both were certain he contracted the virus since he'd been treating patients with similar symptoms, several news outlets say.  

The doctor, who was featured in "Medical Economics" and other publications, figured he would recover at home, given his record with cancer and the decades fighting mental health problems that ensued.

Vargas called for help Tuesday, but it took 30 minutes for that help to arrive -- and Gabrin died at home in his husband's arms, reports say.

The doctor says his "frustrations and triumphs on both sides of the stethoscope" brought him to transforming his medical practice through care.

Gabrin, who took an interest in mental health and wellness, started working at East Orange Medical Center nine months ago, splitting his time between New Jersey and a hospital on Long Island.

"I believe that caring for others should make us caregivers feel incredibly good," Gabrin wrote on his website.

Gabrin also worked in Yonkers, Woodbury and Poughkeepsie, N.Y., according to his profile on

EOMC's chairman of the emergency department, Dr. Alvaro Alban, described Garbin as "delightful, caring and wonderful to work with."

"He had every intention to help," Alban said.

"He was eager to keep working in the E.D. and was disappointed when he started to get symptoms.

"His intention was that his fever would break. Dr. Gabrin was motivated, on a mission and wanted to keep working."

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