An Indian-American father and an Indian-American daughter, both doctors in New Jersey, died as a result of COVID-19. Governor Phil Murphy described her death as "particularly harsh" and greeted her for devoting her life to others.
Satyender Dev Khanna, 78, was a surgeon who had worked for decades as both an employee and head of the surgical departments of several New Jersey hospitals.
Priya Khanna, 43, was a dual doctor who was certified in both internal medicine and nephrology. She was Chief of Residents at Union Hospital, now part of RWJ Barnabas Health.
"Dr. Satyender Dev Khanna and Dr. Priya Khanna were father and daughter. Both have dedicated their lives to helping others. This is a family that is dedicated to health and medicine. Our words cannot express our condolences adequately," tweeted the governor of New Jersey, Murphy Thursday.
"Both spent their lives helping others, and we both lost to COVID-19," Murphy said during a press conference on Thursday, saying that her death was "particularly difficult."
Satyender Dev Khanna died at the Clara Maass Medical Center, where he had worked for more than 35 years.
Governor Murphy described him as a "trailblazing doctor" who was one of the first surgeons to perform laparoscopic surgery in the state. Colleagues remember him as a "gentle and caring doctor".
"And I'm not a doctor, but I would bet I don't think there is a more appropriate way to remember, or a nurse, or a health worker of any kind," said Murphy. The doctor had a passion for cycling and often found peace in the hustle and bustle of the hospital when he was cycling along the Jersey Shore.
Priya Khanna completed all of her medical training in New Jersey and then a nephrology grant in South Jersey from the Cooper Health System. Like her father, she also worked for Clara Maass, where she died.
She was also medical director at two dialysis centers in Essex County and "proud" to teach the next generation of doctors, Murphy said, adding that the intensive care doctor who looked after Priya Khanna was also trained and taught by her.
"Priya will be remembered as a caring and selfless person who puts others first. And even while she was fighting her own fight in the hospital, she continued to screen her parents and family," said Murphy.
"By the way, this is a family dedicated to health and medicine," he said.
The governor spoke to Satyender Khanna's wife Komlish Khanna, who is a pediatrician. The couple have two other daughters – Sugandha Khanna, an emergency doctor, and Anisha Khanna, a pediatrician.
"Incredible. Our words cannot express our condolences or the pain the Khanna family is experiencing. But I hope that the fact that our entire state mourns them is a little comfort. And we mourn everyone." We have lost. We are committed to saving as many lives as possible in their memory, "said Murphy.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)