‘She’s one of us:’ Onondaga County Medical Society honors 28-year-old LaFayette doctor killed by COVID-19

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Dr. Adeline Fagan, the 28-year-old medical resident from LaFayette who died from coronavirus, will be given one of four distinguished annual awards from the Onondaga County Medical Society.

The honor recognizes the young doctor as a colleague by a group of the most elite physicians in her hometown.

“She’s one of us,” the society’s president, Dr. Justin Fedor, tells NewsChannel 9. “She went to medical school, graduated. She’s a doctor. She worked hard and cared for many, gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

The idea to honor Dr. Fagan was the society’s president, Erika Barry. Barry isn’t a doctor but was following Fagan’s coronavirus battle as a mother and sister.

Barry tells NewsChannel 9, “So many of our medical professionals this year have had to do their work in similar conditions, non-optimal conditions. Like Dr. Fagan, they may not have had all the PPE they needed, having to reuse masks.”

The society will honor the Fagan Family at its annual meeting, held virtually this year, on Thursday.

In an interview with NewsChannel 9, Fagan’s dad says, “You have people who think ‘well because she’s not through residency, she’s not a doctor.’ Technically, they are [doctors], but they don’t have the experience. So it’s quite a surprise when established doctors do something like this.”

Fagan’s dad says since childhood, his daughter never wavered from her dreams to become a doctor. She ignored other books in favor of ones about the human body and wore a stethoscope, but her passion was taken to the next level when she needed a doctor herself.

After a soccer injury, Fagan ended up spending some months of her childhood in a wheelchair and under the care of Dr. Stephen Albanese.

Her dad recalls that the doctor, “told her exactly what she had, exactly what she needed to do. We were there, we were sitting here, but he talked to an 11-year-old just like an adult.”

That bedside manner is what encouraged Adeline to not just go to medical school but to work towards becoming a doctor with an emphasis on educating and communicating with her patients.

Her mom, Mary Fagan, tells NewsChannel 9, “Had she been alive long enough, I think she would have been an asset to a wonderful team of medical doctors and the OBGYN field.”

Dr. Fagan never got that chance, but her dream of saving lives will continue on as her family shares her tragic story as an example.

“It takes a village, historically,” said the society’s president. “The parents raised a great human being and the sisters were a great influence on her, and vice versa, so the award goes to her and her family, because they frankly all deserve it.”


LocalSYR.com will stream the ceremony Thursday night around 7:30pm. The Onondaga County Executive and Health Commissioner will also be honored.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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