Honoring a Brother

June 11, 2020

Joseph Cofrancesco Jr, MD, MPH, remembers his brother who died of complications from COVID-19, intubated, sedated, and alone.

Joseph Cofrancesco Jr, MD, MPH, who trained during the AIDs epidemic in the 1990s, remembers his brother John, who died of complications from COVID-19, intubated, sedated, and alone.

“It is a challenging time," says Dr Cofrancesco, Professor of Medicine and Director, Johns Hopkins Institute for Excellence in Education. "We couldn’t visit him in the hospital; I couldn’t go home to be with family. We couldn’t have a funeral."

To honor his brother's memory, Dr Cofrancesco took on extra shifts caring for COVID patients at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. “As a doctor, I took an oath. I want to care for these patients and make sure they know they are not alone.” His message is simple: "Together, just like HIV, we will get through this."