An online fundraiser for a doctor who was killed during a shooting at a Bronx hospital Friday nearly reached its goal one day after launching.
A friend and fellow physician, Ahmed Rezk, started a GoFundMe campaign in honor of Tracy Sin-Yee Tam, 32, a Queens resident and family physician who was shot while on-duty at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. The page’s goal to raise $25,000 to cover Tam’s funeral expense was nearly met in 24 hours, with 245 donors contributing to more than $22,000 in donations. The campaign has since set a new $50,000 goal.
“Tracy Tam was an exceptional, and an extremely compassionate physician,” Rezk writes in the page’s description. “She worked extra hours without incentive just to hold hands of patients that are about to pass or just to talk to them and listen to their needs.”
Rezk identified himself as a family physician who worked closely with Tam for several years, serving as her senior in their medical school’s residency program. Tam attended Touro College, according to Peter Q. Lee, an emergency room doctor at a New Jersey medical center who also attended the school. State records show Tam graduated in June 2013 and received her medical license two years later.
Rezk did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Friends and mourners who submitted donations remembered Tam as an inspiring mentor and friend.
“Rest In Peace, Tracy. You were a kind, gentle-hearted person,” Deepak Sharma wrote. Sharma’s relationship to Tam was not clear.
Another, who said she also attended medical school with Tam, recalled the late doctor as “a beautiful soul” who “died in a senseless tragedy when she agreed to cover a shift for a fellow doctor at the hospital.”
Tam was shot along with six others when a 45-year-old former employee of the Bronx hospital, Dr. Henry Bello, opened fire on the 16th and 17th floors with an AM-15 assault rifle, officials said. Tam had been employed at the hospital for nearly one year.
Bello began shooting in the hospital just before 3 p.m. After the hospital was placed on lockdown, he was found dead on the 17th floor.
An exact motive has not yet been made clear by authorities.