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Dr. Mary Forks, 66, dies.Helped science understand pandemics

Dr. Mary Foux, a neuropathologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, found severe damage to multiple organs at autopsy of Covid-19 victims early in the pandemic. November 15th at her home in Katonah, New York, Westchester County. She was 66 years old.

Her daughter, Jackie Treatman, said the cause was a heart attack.

Little was known about the new coronavirus, which was believed to be primarily a respiratory illness, when Dr. Forks (who hummed “poke”) and her team began autopsy. The first dozens of autopsies revealed that Covid-19 could affect the lungs and other important organs, causing the virus to spread through the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. ..

“There were very small, very fine blood clots in the lungs, heart, and liver, and serious blood clots in the brain,” Dr. Fowkes said in an interview with the segment of the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” November 22, on the long-term impact of Covid-19. She was interviewed by correspondent Anderson Cooper on October 30, just over two weeks before her death.

A blood clot in the brain suggested that she had a stroke, she told Cooper.

Cooper asked if he expected to see widespread damage to so many organs.

“No, not at all,” said Dr. Foux. “No one has seen it this way.”

“I was curious and uncompromising in doing as many autopsies as possible to create something unique,” said Dr. Forks, chairman of the Department of Pathology, Molecular and Cell-Based Medicine. Dr. Carlos Cordon Cardo said in a telephone interview with Ikarn Medical College on Mount Sinai.

Dr. Cordon-Cardo said an autopsy of Covid patients conducted by Dr. Fowkes’ team resulted in an active increase in anticoagulant use and a significant improvement in the health of some patients. He said the drug was adjusted to explain the increased response of the patient’s immune system to Covid.

Dr. Fowkes and others involved in Covid’s autopsy wrote a treatise on their findings and published it in May, but it has not been peer-reviewed or published.

Mary Elizabeth Forks was born on November 1, 1954 in Clayton, a village in northern New York, and grew up in Syracuse. Her mother, Isabel (Walroth) Fowkes, was a social worker. Her father, Glen, wrote an insurance policy.

Dr. Forks graduated from Syracuse’s SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in 1977 and has since worked as a doctor’s assistant.

To increase her chances of enrolling in medical school, she became an engineer at the Institute for Cell and Developmental Biology and then enrolled in a doctoral program in anatomy and cell biology at SUNY Upstate Medical College, also in Syracuse. did. She eventually attended a combined program of PhD and Doctor of Medicine in school and graduated in 1999 with both degrees.

Dr. Forks completed a pathology internship at the Beth Israel Dikones Medical Center in Boston in 2003. He then conducted a neuropathology fellowship at New York University Medical Center and a forensic pathology fellowship at the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office. According to Dr. Barbara Sampson, then staff member and now the city’s chief coroner in 2006.

“What she really learned from us is what she can learn from autopsy, the importance of closing families, and the importance of autopsy for public health and understanding of illness,” Dr. Sampson said in a telephone interview. ..

After her city fellowship, Dr. Foux joined the Ikarn School as an assistant professor of pathology and remained in the department until her death. She was appointed Director of Neuropathology at Mount Sinai in 2012 and two years later Director of Autopsy Services. Citing their educational value, she encouraged hospitals to perform more autopsies and promoted the expansion of hospital brain banks.

Her extensive work included a recent focus on recurrent meningiomas, slow-growing benign brain tumors.

She also coached many young doctors, including neuropathologist Nadia Tsankova.

“I was very passionate about the combination of research and clinical services,” Dr. Tsankova said in an interview. “And Mary was very enthusiastic about her research. Sometimes you get a job and aspire to something, and your boss says,” No, you have to do this. ” But she would say, “I understand what you have to do, and we’ll make it work.”

Dr. Forks saw autopsy as essential to understanding the disease and felt that Covid’s victims were obliged to perform autopsy despite her being in a vulnerable age group.

When performing an autopsy on the main floor of the hospital, she used a vibrating saw to open the cranial cavity and remove the brain. The brain may have been exposed to the virus through aerosolized bone and blood.

“There were only four pathologists who were willing to risk their lives to initiate an autopsy of these cases,” Dr. Fowkes told the BBC in June. But she added: “We thought it was very important to do this work in the end so that we could get some answers to know how to treat the patient correctly, so we have all the protection. I used the ingredients, but to be honest, I was still very scared. “

Due to lack of protective equipment from late winter to early spring, Dr. Foux wore an N95 mask at a time for a week.

In addition to her daughter, she has survived by her mother. Son Derek Treatman. And her brothers, Mark (her twins) and John. Her marriage to Scott Treatman ended with a divorce.

During the “60 minutes”, Dr. Forks had a slice of the cerebellum of Covid’s victim in his left hand. Cooper pointed out that there is a brown dent in the brain problem.

“Is it a stroke?” He asked.

“It’s a stroke,” she said.

At the end of the report, Cooper told the audience that Dr. Forks had died.

Dr. Mary Forks, 66, dies.Helped science understand pandemics

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