dying

UCLA end-of-life program adapts during pandemic to help dying patients and their families

Patti Breed-Rabitoy, with husband Dan Rabitory, had coped with lung and kidney disease for years. She died of COVID-19 with no family by her side, but more than a dozen gathered on a Zoom call to say goodbye. <span class="copyright">(Elishia Breed)</span>
Patti Breed-Rabitoy, with husband Dan Rabitory, had coped with lung and kidney disease for years. She died of COVID-19 with no family by her side, but more than a dozen gathered on a Zoom call to say goodbye. (Elishia Breed)

As her mother lay dying in a Southern California hospital in early May, Elishia Breed was home in Oregon, 800 miles away, separated by not only the distance but also by the cruelty of the coronavirus.

Because of the pandemic, it wasn’t safe to visit her mom, Patti Breed-Rabitoy, who had entered a hospital alone, days earlier, with a high fever and other symptoms that were confirmed to be caused by COVID-19.

Breed-Rabitoy, 69, had suffered from lung and kidney disease for years but remained a vital, bubbly presence in the lives of her husband, Dan Rabitoy, and three grown children. She was a longtime church deacon and youth leader

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