Feb 15 2013
A doctor’s hand-written (and yes, legible) letter to his patient’s husband was shared on the Internet and viewed over 2 million times. It speaks for itself.
Dear Mr. (removed),
I am the Emergency Medicine physician who treated your wife Mrs (removed) last Sunday in the Emergency Department at (hospital). I learned only yesterday about her passing away and wanted to write to you to express my sadness. In my twenty years as a doctor in the Emergency Room, I have never written to a patient or a family member, as our encounters are typically hurried and do not always allow for more personal interaction.
However, in your case, I felt a special connection to your wife (removed), who was so engaging and cheerful in spite of her illness and trouble breathing. I was also touched by the fact that you seemed to be a very loving couple. You were highly supportive of her, asking the right questions with calm, care and concern. From my experience as a physician, I find that the love and support of a spouse or a family member is the most soothing gift, bringing peace and serenity to those critically ill.
I am sorry for your loss and I hope you can find comfort in the memory of your wife’s great spirit and of your loving bond. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
The patient’s son posted the letter on Reddit and it was picked up in Yahoo.news. There were over 4,000 comments. Virtually all of the comments were highly supportive of doctors.
Two representative comments:
“Looks like that doctor went into the right profession. We need more compassionate people like him in our health field.”
“It shows the profound impact that a few minutes of kindness and thoughtfulness will do for those suffering. I’m sure this letter helped lessen their grief.”
Doctors do so much to impact patients’ well being. Doctors also step up to help patients and their families in their darkest moments. Most patients and their families appreciate this.
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