HOMETOWN HERO: Infectious disease doctor quarantining from family in King of Prussia

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A King of Prussia doctor has been away from his family for over a month in an effort to save those infected with COVID-19 and protect his children.

The closest Dr. Mitchell Sternlieb has been to his family in over a month is spending a few minutes with them outside while wearing a mask. His twin three-year-old boys have asthma, and he's an infectious disease physician with Main Line Health.

"One concern I had is, would I expose my family," said Dr. Sternlieb.

"When he gets up every day, the unknown is how many people and how sick, but he knows he'll be seeing a lot of sick people," said Barrie Marino, his mother, whom he's currently staying with at his childhood home in Lafayette Hill, about half an hour from his family in King of Prussia.

At his parents, he has his own entrance to the guest bedroom and his parents can send him food sometimes with the help of a toy race car.

He says he's not sure how long this setup will be necessary.

"Even after the economy reopens and things start to return to some degree of normal, I'm still going to be taking care of COVID-19 patients in the hospital," said Dr. Sternlieb, who added he's not the only one taking protective measures for his family right now.

In fact, he says almost all of his colleagues are doing something similar, but what's pushing him through is knowing who's waiting at home.

"The kids. He wants to make sure our kids are in a position where they're as safe as possible," said Zenobia, his wife.

It's a sacrifice that means losing precious time with his wife and kids. His only hope is that they understand why.

"I love my daddy and I'm proud of him for helping the people who need him most," said his 6-year-old daughter Ayva.


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