PRINCETON — A physician who treated patients during a COVID-19 outbreak at a Princeton nursing home has tested positive for the disease and is now on a ventilator.
Dr. Charles J. Mirabile, medical director at Princeton Healthcare Center, was diagnosed with coronavirus last week, friends and co-workers confirmed Thursday. Mirabile was hospitalized, and recently transported to J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown where he is on a ventilator.
His wife, Cathy, also has the virus and is currently hospitalized at Princeton Community Hospital, according to friends of the family.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources, 44 cases of COVID-19 have been reported at Princeton Healthcare Center, 20 residents and 24 staff, with four staff members recovering and four deaths.
Mirabile is described as “beloved” by friends and co-workers who spoke to the Daily Telegraph Thursday.
“It’s hard to find, in my opinion, a Charles Mirabile out there,” retired PHCC administrator Roger Topping said. “He has such love and care for his residents — they are like a second family.”
Topping said Mirabile was taking care of patients with COVID-19, but also those with other conditions. “His responsibility is the health of everyone in the building.”
“We’re asking everybody to pray for him and pray for Cathy,” Topping said. “It’s a tough situation. He’s really beloved by the residents.”
Topping said Mirabile has served patients at the nursing home “almost since the doors opened” in 1981.
He described the physician as a “rare breed.”
“A doctor only has to see a patient in a nursing home every 30 days for a check-up if they’re not sick,” Topping said. “Charles would come in four, five, six days a week. I’ve known him to come in seven days a week — that’s a rarity. As an administrator, the greatest thing you can have is a doctor who is always there.”
At one point, Topping said Mirabile worked at The Maples and GlenWood Park retirement home as well as PHCC.
“He didn’t slack off,” Topping said.
“Charlie is not only a really, really good doctor, he’s a good educator,” Topping said. “He gave our staff many good seminars. He provided the staff with much training.”
Topping said Mirabile would attend conferences to keep up with advances in long-term care, and then bring that knowledge back to the staff.
Topping described Mirabile as personable, but one who expected “as close to perfection as you could get.”
He is also one who is well-respected by nursing staff, Topping said.
Topping said nursing homes and hospitals are “very scary places right now,” likening medical workers to first responders who run toward a fire.
“Most run away from COVID, but health care workers run toward it to take care of patients and residents,” Topping said. “Charles is one of those people who cares about everyone he takes care of.”
Topping noted the relentlessness of COVID-19.
“It (the virus) shows no bounds,” Topping said. “Everyone is susceptible to it.
“People are asking, ‘What can we do?’ “ Topping said. “I say, ‘Pray for them.’”
Contact Samantha Perry at email@example.com.