According to NBC New York, 38-year-old Long Island doctor Kiersten Cerveny, a dermatologist who lived in Manhasset, NY, collapsed in the doorway of an apartment building after overdosing on cocaine after a night of partying with two men.
Investigators originally deemed the cause of death to be strangulation, though they backed off these claims after new details of the incident emerged.
Cerveny told her husband she was heading out for the night to spend time with a friend in the city. She had been spotted drinking at a nightclub in the Lower East Side before arriving at an apartment building with an unidentified man at 4:30 a.m.
Authorities say she became ill after consuming cocaine in the five-story walk-up building on West 16th Street. Two men carried her into the lobby in an attempt to get her in a cab when she collapsed in the doorway.
After calling 911, the men disappeared, and the man believed to be her boyfriend fled back upstairs to his apartment.
Emergency medical technicians attempted to resuscitate Cerveny, but to no avail. She was transported to the Lenox Health emergency room in Greenwich Village, where she later died.
Cocaine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, and its effects can last anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were about 5,000 cocaine overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2013, marking a 29% increase from 2001.
“It’s just mind-boggling,” said Thomas Nicotri, one of Cerveny’s professors during her residency in New Orleans who also knew her husband. “They looked healthy and happy. It seemed like they were on top of the world. They had everything.”
“She was intelligent, caring and very professional,” Nicotri said. “I never had any concerns about her at all.”
Friends and patients voiced their grief on Cerveny’s Facebook page, posting comments that lauded the doctor as “a beautiful and intelligent woman who had a gorgeous family.”
Cerveny’s cause of death is yet to be confirmed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s office.
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