'Can't breathe': Nurse's harrowing final text before coronavirus death

A sister has shared the heartbreaking final text message her brother sent before he died from COVID-19.

Kious Jordan Kelly was a nurse who was working in the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus at a New York City hospital, where nearly 1000 people have died.

Mr Kelly was hospitalised on March 17 and died the following Tuesday.

Mr Kelly’s sister, Marya Sherron, told NBC News she believed her brother contracted COVID-19 due to the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) at his unit in the hospital he was working at.

Kious Jordan Kelly, a nurse from New York City, died after contracting COVID-19. Source: Mount Sinai

However, Ms Sherron said her brother was not a victim, but a hero.

She also shared the last text messages the siblings exchanged.

“Anything I can do?” Ms Sherron asked.

“Can’t talk because I choke and can’t breathe,” Mr Kelly responded to his sister. “I love you. Going back to sleep.”

“You've pulled through so much. Love you and we are praying.” Ms Sherron said.

Mayra Sherron has shared the heartbreaking last message her brother sent before he died. Source: Facebook.

On her Facebook page, Ms Sherron described her brother as the “best human being on this earth”.

“You have always been my role model. There is so much I want the world to know about you,” she wrote.

“I have indescribable pain. So alone without you. You made the world better.”

Mount Sinai West, the hospital Mr Kelly worked at, paid their respects to the fallen nurse on social media.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of a beloved member our nursing staff,” the post said.

“Today, we lost another hero - a compassionate colleague, friend and selfless caregiver.”

New York appeals for more medical volunteers

According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, New York City has the seventh highest death toll in the world.

The United States has now got the most confirmed cases in the world, surpassing both China and Italy, with 164,274 cases and 3,040 deaths nationwide.

The coronavirus has overwhelmed hospitals in New York, which has been dubbed the US epicentre for the virus.

New York’s governor issued an urgent appeal for medical volunteers Monday following a “staggering” number of deaths from coronavirus.

New York's famous Times Square has been empty due to the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Getty Images

Governor Andrew Cuomo and health officials warned that the crisis unfolding in New York City is just a preview of what other communities across the U.S. could soon face.

Even before the governor’s appeal, close to 80,000 former nurses, doctors and other professionals in New York were stepping up to volunteer.

A Navy hospital ship, also sent to the city after 9/11, had arrived with 1,000 beds to relieve pressure on overwhelmed hospitals.

- with Associated Press

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