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Beloved Brooklyn teacher loses battle with COVID-19, sister says

rana zoe mungin.png
Brooklyn teacher with coronavirus
Posted at 6:05 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 12:17:55-04

BROOKLYN — The sister of Brooklyn social studies teacher Rana Zoe Mungin announced on Twitter Monday that the 30-year-old teacher lost her fight against COVID-19, more than six weeks after she first developed a fever.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you all that my sister, Rana Zoe, has passed away today at 12:25 p.m. due to COVID-19 complications,” Mia Mungin wrote. “She fought a long fight but her body was too weak.”

Mia Mungin — a registered nurse — had lobbied to get the best care possible for her sister, who had underlying medical conditions like asthma and hypertension.

The teacher was turned away from an emergency room twice after developing fever, before she was finally admitted to Brookdale Hospital on March 20.

She was quickly intubated and put on a ventilator, an attempted life-saving measure that has unfortunately not worked for 88 percent of the COVID-19 patients put on one.

Mungin’s sister wanted to get the teacher accepted into clinical trials for treatment, and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York went to bat for her, writing a letter to the Food and Drug Administration on her behalf.

Mungin was transferred to Mount Sinai’s flagship hospital in Manhattan on March 27, and she started to show some improvements.

Doctors and nurses were placing the teacher in the prone position on her stomach, trying to shift the fluid out of her lungs.

Some of her vitals were getting better, but it was difficult to get Mungin weaned off the ventilator.

When PIX11 spoke to Mia Mungin on Saturday night, April 18, she told us her sister had woken up and she was moving her eyes.

Doctors were trying to get her to do spontaneous breathing on her own.

At one point, she had developed a staph infection and fever came back.

The hospital thought Mungin would benefit from going to an acute rehab center, suggesting one in New Jersey, but the facility was not accepting COVID-19 patients.

Mungin remained on the ventilator for more than a month.

It was a tragic ending for an accomplished young woman from East New York who graduated from Wellesley College, alma mater of Hillary Clinton, later earning her master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts.

She was beloved by her sixth grade students at Bushwick Ascend Middle School — a charter school — where she taught them about their history and advocated for self-empowerment.

Now, another teacher’s voice has been stilled by the cruel virus known as COVID-19.

Sixty-five school-based employees have died from coronavirus since the pandemic made New York City its epicenter in early March. Twenty-eight of the victims were teachers.