Health

Doctors Among the Missing in Surfside Condo Collapse

At least three physicians and one physician assistant are among the missing at the collapsed Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida.

Brad Cohen, MD, 51, and his brother Gary Cohen, MD, 59, have not yet been found, nor have Ruslan Manashirov, MD, and his wife, Nicole Dorian-Manashirov, PA, according to news reports.

Brad and Gary Cohen were both inside the building when it collapsed in the early morning hours of June 24.

An orthopedic surgeon, Brad founded Aventura Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, which has offices in North Miami and Miami Beach. Gary worked as an attending physician at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center in Alabama. The brothers were visiting their elderly parents and stayed together at Brad’s two-bedroom condo.

Their mother, Debra Cohen, told a local Florida news station that her two sons were “irreplaceable” and asked for continued prayers.

Brad’s wife, Soraya Cohen, told People that her husband “was extremely tough, and that’s why I thought at the beginning he did survive. I knew that if anybody could survive, it’s him. But now it’s more than four and a half days — without water, without food and [possible] massive injuries — I no longer think there’s any chance he’s alive.”

“The thought that he’s not here anymore … it’s cataclysmic,” she said. “It’s just such a giant change of your life with no warning.”

Brad and Soraya Cohen have two children: son Avi, 19, and daughter Elisheva, 12, according to People.

Brad Cohen’s Miami-area clinics have scores of five-star reviews, with patients noting his professionalism, compassion, and excellent bedside manner. His alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, tweeted its sympathies late last month.

A spokesperson for the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center provided a statement to a local news reporter, saying that Gary Cohen “has worked many years providing care to our Veterans. He is part of the Tuscaloosa VAMC family and our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this incredibly difficult time.”

Ruslan Manashirov, MD, 36, and physician assistant Nicole Dorian-Manashirov, 43, had just gotten married in May and had only moved into the building in April, according to the Miami Herald.

Manashirov worked at ClareMedica in South Miami, and appears to be admired in the community, with a 4.9- out of 5-star rating on Zocdoc, paired with comments such as how he “made me feel at ease right away” and was “very professional and communicative.”

Dorian-Manashirov worked at Aventura Hospital near Fort Lauderdale. One of her family friends told the Herald that the physician assistant “worked indescribable hours during the pandemic” and “never backed out on her duties.”

The death toll of the condo collapse has risen to 46, with 32 having been identified, according to news reports; 94 people still remain missing.

  • Kristina Fiore leads MedPage’s enterprise & investigative reporting team. She’s been a medical journalist for more than a decade and her work has been recognized by Barlett & Steele, AHCJ, SABEW, and others. Send story tips to [email protected] Follow

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