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Front-line hero dies of COVID-19 as hospitalizations soar in Dallas-Fort Worth area

Ryan Mulcahy worked helping people get organ transplants. The 42-year-old died on Saturday of the novel coronavirus.

DALLAS — Behind every statistic there is a face and a name of someone who has died of COVID-19.

Ryan Mulcahy is one of them. On Saturday, the 42-year-old died from coronavirus.

"He was just supposed to get over it and nothing could have been more unexpected,” said friend Chad Trahan.

Mulcahy worked with LifeGift. Trahan, his co-worker and friend, said he also spent 13 years with Southwest Transplant Alliance helping people with organ donations and transplants.

“He saved people in the sense that he helped people get transplants and saved them giving them a sense of hope or a laugh in a moment when they didn't think it was possible,” said Trahan.

Mulcahy was diagnosed with COVID-19 a month and a half ago. He initially felt badly, improved, then got worse again.

"He thought he was over it and now he's gone because the virus didn't stop when the symptoms stopped, the virus found another way to attack him,” said Trahan.

RELATED: Have you lost a loved one to COVID-19? We want to hear their story

Credit: wfaa
Ryan Mulcahy

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise

Health experts and doctors are sounding the alarm with COVID stats on the rise.

Hospitalizations are up. As of Wednesday, there were around 600 COVID patients in Dallas County hospitals and 700 in Tarrant County.

"If someone is hospitalized today they may have gotten infected 10 days earlier or something along those lines,” said Stephen Love, CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.

Love fears that with people gathering for the holidays, hospitals may reach maximum capacity in North Texas. He and other health experts are urging people not to gather or socialize.

"The health care heroes have been at this since March," Love said. "They are tired, they are fatigued so let’s give them a break."

Love said one key difference from the current surge compared to what the area saw in June and July is that drugs, medications and steroids are available that weren't in the summer.

However, he emphasized that people need to understand there is a lag in reported COVID-19 hospitalizations as well as deaths, so the time to act is now.

"Any prevention measure we put in place today is going to have a lag time before it impacts hospitals," Love said.

While Love said D-FW hospitals have only taken in seven patients as of Friday, the impact of the rise in hospitalizations from the outlying counties in North Texas could potentially cause problems for Dallas and Tarrant counties.

"The problem is they're rural areas, and as they fill up, some of those patients may have to migrate to the metropolitan area," Love said. "Hospitals want the economy open. Hospitals want schools open. Hospitals want everything to get back to normal. But we've got to learn to coexist with this virus."

Mulcahy was a front line worker helping save others. His friends and co-workers say don't let his death be in vain, do your part and to keep the virus from spreading.

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