Tracy Allen Lee died at the age of 34 from contracting HIV while on the job (pictured with husband Victor Lee)
The city that accused Lee of lying, saying she became infected on her own time, will now honor her with a stone memorial at the East Harlem EMS station.
Allen died at the age of 34 and was just 17 months into her career when she contracted the virus.
In 1994, she was called to treat an AIDS patient who was bleeding to death inside a small room on 34th Street.
Allen caught her glove on a nail, but she kept trying to save the patient. She didn’t notice the nail pierced through her skin and that his blood entered her wound until after she finished working.
According to New York Daily News, she soon tested positive for HIV. But the city refused to designate her diagnosis as something she incurred while on-duty, which would have given her more benefits.
Her husband and high school sweetheart Victor Lee, 51, told the paper: ‘Going through that whole process was really frustrating.’
‘They said she was lying, but she always meticulously documented everything.’
Though the fire department recommended she go on sick leave, Chief of EMS Robert McCracken let her keep working from the office.
Tracy Allen Lee died on September 24, 1997 at the age of 34. On Monday, she will be memorialized at the East Harlem EMS station
While on vacation in 1996, Lee decided to live life to the fullest and stop taking the medication that was making her sick.
She swam in the ocean in Florida despite her doctor’s orders, a memory that sticks in her husband’s mind.
He said: ‘She was going to live her life to the fullest, and that’s what she did. That year is something I’ll always cherish. Twenty years later, my eyes still tear up.’
She died one year later on September 24, 1997.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani initially didn’t want to have the city pay for her funeral. But he changed his mind and she was buried with full honors.