Dr. James A. Mahoney, a 62-year old doctor who spent 40 years serving hospitals in underserved communities and even helped treat coronavirus patients despite his retirement age, has sadly died from the virus himself.
Throughout Mahoney’s 40-year service, he had been on the medical frontlines at the time of the AIDS crisis, crack epidemic, and 9/11 terrorist attacks. He felt it is his obligation to also see through the COVID-19 pandemic even though it poses a higher health risk for his age.
Other elderly people in the medical field, including Mahoney’s older brother, already stopped seeing patients in order to prevent contracting the deadly virus. However, Mahoney, who could have already retired, delayed his retirement to continue helping his colleague in caring for COVID-19 patients.
In April, he started having fever but insisted on still treating patients remotely from home. When his condition worsened and wasn’t able to walk, he was hospitalized as 5 of his colleagues were with him until his death.
Mahoney is remembered by the community, his colleagues, and other Black young professionals who look up to him and refer to him as their Jay-Z in the medical field.
“As a young Black man, I looked at this guy and said to myself, ‘Twenty years from now I want to be like him,’” Dr. Latif A. Salam told Blavity. “When a Black medical student, a Black resident sees him, he sees a hero. Someone that you can be one day.”