A Brooklyn doctor who contracted COVID-19 working in Brookdale Hospital has been discharged from treatment after 10 months of battling the virus – and has come home to enormous support from the community.

A GoFundMe page set up to help Dr. Sabarartham Shangmugananthan and his family has already gathered more than $90,000, overwhelming him and his family, colleague and friend Dr. Anjula Gandhi told BK Reader.

“This is everybody’s love for him, these contributions. Him and his wife are very overwhelmed, and the kids too, overwhelmed by the love and generosity that people are showing, it’s amazing.”

Dr. Sabarartham Shangmugananthan. Photo: GoFundMe page.

Shangmugananthan is an internist who has worked in Brooklyn hospitals for almost 30 years. In March last year, he contracted COVID-19 while treating COVID-19 positive patients at Brookdale Hospital and was hospitalized due to a rapidly deteriorating condition and multiple organ failures with complications.

He was hospitalized and went through rehab for 10 months and seven days before finally coming home, but he still has a long road to recovery.

Gandhi said although mentally Shangmugananthan was completely fine, he still needed four to five liters of oxygen a day and was only able to walk short distances. She said the doctor’s road to recovery would be long – and there was still possibility he would need a lung transplant. But the family was remaining positive.

“He is one of the nicest kindest people I have met in my life and he’s extremely dedicated to his patients and work,” she said. “He is extremely liked by his residents and nurses, everybody has the highest regard for him.”

She said Shangmugananthan’s wife was a hero for going through what she went through, while still being “extremely brave and upbeat” and looking after their children.

It was difficult to convince the family to start the GoFundMe page, as often doctors weren’t used to accepting help, but they had been humbled by the generous response.


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Anna Bradley-Smith

Anna Bradley-Smith is Brooklyn-based reporter with bylines in NBC, VICE, Slate and others. Follow her on Twitter @annabradsmith.

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