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'I no longer think there's any chance he's alive': UC alum missing after Florida condo collapse

Condo Building Collapse Miami Surfside
Posted at 2:12 PM, Jun 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-30 23:42:40-04

A University of Cincinnati medical school alumnus is among the dozens of people still missing after the collapse of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida.

A university spokesperson tweeted Wednesday that the UC College of Medicine “sends prayers & hope to the family of Dr. Brad Cohen,” who graduated in 1997. His brother, physician Dr. Gary Cohen, is also missing.

According to People, the pair were likely asleep inside when the building buckled.

People reported that Cohen’s wife of 20 years, journalist and children’s book author Soraya Cohen, has increasingly struggled to summon any hope that the pair could have survived the June 24 collapse. She was optimistic at first, she said; her husband “was extremely tough,” and she had faith that he would be among the survivors if any emerged.

"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," she told People. "The thought that he's not here anymore... It's cataclysmic. It's just such a giant change of your life with no warning."

Rescue and recovery workers have discovered 16 bodies in the rubble and shifted more than 3 million pounds of wreckage as they continue to search for 147 unaccounted-for people, the Cohen brothers among them.

Soraya Cohen described her husband, who worked as an orthopedic surgeon, as a man who was charitable, kind-hearted, disciplined, responsible and completely devoted to their two children.

“He really believed in responsibility and being righteous and doing the right thing, even if it's not the easy thing,” she said to People.

His devotion to alleviating the suffering of others makes his own death in a catastrophic building collapse even harder to process, she added.

"Dr. Jerry Sher, his long-time orthopedic surgery partner, said Brad was likely killed on impact," she said to People. "I don't want Brad to have had to suffer, so whatever route was the least suffering is what I want for him."