NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A hero doctor gave it his all to fight the pandemic, until the very end.
Dr. James ‘Charlie’ Mahoney was at the age when most think about retirement. In fact, he had already set a retirement date. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“He called me and said ‘Steph, I was supposed to retire today.’ I said, ‘I guess that’s not happening.’ He said ‘No. I’m gonna keep going,'” his daughter Stephanie told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
As a pulminologist, Dr Mahoney’s specialty was the respiratory system, making his life’s training perfectly suited to help in this pandemic. Countless patients owed their life to him.
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“He practiced a style of medicine that was humanistic. And entirely dedicated to his patients,” said Dr. Robert Foronjy, chief of Pulminary Medicine at University Hospital of Brooklyn. “His patients all had his cell phone. He was accessible to him whenever they needed him.”
“He was sending us pictures of him in his COVID gear that he would see patients with. He never let us be scared. He always told us that things would be fine and he would be OK,” said his son Ryan.
In early, April Dr. Mahoney began coughing and running a fever. Two weeks later he was admitted to his own hospital but focused on reassuring everyone else.
“I think he managed to send a picture in the family chat saying. ‘I’m doing good, guys’ with the thumbs up,” Stephanie sad.
On April 27th, our community was robbed of another front line hero.
“Its almost unfathomable that we’re losing Dr. Mahoney. Its not something we’ve really been able to process,” Dr. Foronjy said.
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Dr. Mahoney started as a resident in 1982 navigating through the health care world with kindness. It made him a favorite among patients and peers. He became a pillar of University Hospital of Brooklyn.
“He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Stephanie said. “They had to put a sign on the door of his office that said ‘Don’t ask Dr Mahoney about these topics or you’ll be in here for too long.'”
Showing courage and selflessness, Dr Mahoney lived his final days like he lived life: Finding fulfillment in saving others.
“When he went to the hospital, he went to his own hospital. So he was surrounded by people that loved him. And that gave me peace, knowing that,” Ryan said.
The hospital has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money to provide tuition for African-American students to attend medical school.
So far they’re about halfway to their $100,000 goal. To contribute, click here.