NYC nurse who died of COVID-19 was a gay man

Tue. March 31, 2020 6:53 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

kious kelly

photo credit // mount sinai health network
The first reported case of a nurse in New York City dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was a Chicago-born gay man. 

Kious Kelly, 48, was an assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West in Manhattan.

According to The New York Times, Kelly told his sister, Marya Patrice Sherron, on March 18 that he was in the ICU after testing positive for the virus. He was placed on a ventilator but died on Tuesday.

Sherron said that her brother had asthma but was otherwise healthy.

Co-workers said that the lack of personal protective equipment such as masks and gowns contributed to Kelly's death. He had been seen treating patients without such equipment.

"His death could have been prevented," Sherron said in a Facebook post. "Please help get our healthcare workers the protection they need."

Several staffers echoed those remarks in comments to A GoFundMe campaign set up to help support his family has raised over $19,000 as of Sunday. The campaign was started by Kelly's co-workers who said that he returned to Michigan on weekends to visit and care for his parents who were in failing health.

"The 10B nurses in Mount Sinai West started this fund, knowing many of his friends, colleagues, and acquaintances want to contribute to ease the burden of the family from his sudden passing," wrote co-workers, who described Kelly as "a joy to be around."

"REST IN PEACE are an inspiration to us," they added. "Thank you for your dedication to nursing. We love you and will never forget you."

Editor's note: Kelly's sister Marya told WLS-TV she and Kelly were both born in Chicago, and moved from the area when they were toddlers.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine