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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:03 PM

ER doctor's note after patient's death moves millions

ER doctor's note after patient's death moves millions


(RNN) An emergency room doctor's emotional letter after the death of a patient at New York Presbyterian Hospital has touched millions on the internet.

The deceased woman's son first published the note on Reddit after his mother died of breast cancer in December 2012.
....

"This letter from my late mother's doctor has changed my life," the poster said.

He said his mother had breathing difficulties stemming from her cancer that forced her to go to the hospital. Less than 24 hours later, she passed away.

"If my mother were alive to see this, she would want readers to reflect on the power of showing compassion towards a total stranger," he said to the Huffington Post. "The support I got from Reddit was amazing - doctors, nurses and other Redditors who have lost their mothers to cancer were all shocked and amazed that the doctor took the time to write such a heartfelt, meaningful letter."

The letter reads:

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.


http://www.myfoxal.com/story/21190916/er-doctors-note-after-patients-death-moves-millions

13 replies, 3688 views

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Reply ER doctor's note after patient's death moves millions (Original post)
The Straight Story Feb 2013 OP
niyad Feb 2013 #1
yourout Feb 2013 #2
The Straight Story Feb 2013 #4
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #8
roguevalley Feb 2013 #9
newfie11 Feb 2013 #3
LineLineNew Reply .
Skittles Feb 2013 #6
Historic NY Feb 2013 #5
roguevalley Feb 2013 #10
Louisiana1976 Feb 2013 #7
littlemissmartypants Feb 2013 #11
tpsbmam Feb 2013 #13
patrice Feb 2013 #12

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:08 PM

1. k and r

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:16 PM

2. KnR....my father in law died on Tuesday after a full 92 years on this planet.

WWII vet, farmer, cheese maker, and all around gentle soul.

At the end he was basically blind, deaf, and only marginally aware of his surroundings but my amazing 88 year old mother-in-law gave him unbelievable care till the end swiftly came.

The family is going to miss him but happy he has found peace.

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Response to yourout (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:28 PM

4. A night and a half before my mom died

I went to the hospital to see her and relieve dad for the night.

It was to be my first night there with her. My brother and sister and dad had all been taking turns. I had a full time job but was off for two weeks.

She had just went back into the hospital. Dad woke me up Christmas eve day to tell me the ambulance was coming to pick her up and she just needed some dialysis and such.

A friend's son died that night, he was 19, when a drunk driver hit him and I was going to go to his funeral (this was like Tuesday the following week, Friday is when she went back in) but instead headed to the hospital with a book on prime number theory I had just got and some crossword puzzles. Figured mom would just sleep all night.

Walked in and mom was sitting there in bed. Nothing attached to her and not talking 'right'. I asked dad what was going on and he took me out in the hall.

Told me she was dying. Nothing they could do so they unhooked her from everything and didn't want to tell me until I got there.

I cried like a baby. And then mom started yelling, out of it, for my dad. He rushed back in. I composed myself and walked in, tears still streaming down.

She wanted a knife to cut the baby out of the pillow, it was suffocating. Dad gave her a pretend knife and she save it.

Then looked up at me.

She came back. She asked my dad why I was there. He said I was going to stay the night with her. She told him to send me home, I didn't need to see her like this, I was her baby boy.

Dad was tired. Didn't know it at the time but he had prostate cancer (and beat it). But relented. He left to tell the nurses he would be staying.

Told mom I was going to go out for and drive and I would be back to pick her up so we could go out and have a smoke. She smiled and said that would be nice.

She died at 2:05am the following night. Minutes before I got there to say goodbye.

The dr's marveled at her. A tiny woman who fought for months to hang on. Every day was she might die, getting better, might come home, etc and so on. She never gave up. And in the end, she looked out for me and didn't want me to suffer all night with her and her delusions.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:38 PM

8. "Minutes before I got there to say goodbye"....

....but you actually got to see her the night before, and you knew the end was near. You were nearby and close enough to arrive within minutes of her passing....so many people never even get that opportunity. But, you have my sincere condolences for your loss.

I was in the service on the other side of the country in 1980 in California when my sister died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack in Virginia at the age of 26. That was beyond traumatic, and for many years I felt guilty that we hadn't talked for almost a year prior to her passing. Obviously, we had no chance to say goodbye.

My mother was found dead by a couple of neighbors in 1996 in Virginia when they became concerned she wasn't getting her newspapers. The coroner told me privately that she had died of a massive heart attack about a month before she was found. I had made a habit of calling her about once a week and leaving messages, and she would call me if she had anything important to discuss. Once again, I was living in another state, this time in Alabama. Once again, there was no opportunity to say goodbye.

My Dad became terminally ill in September 2008. A WWII vet, high school football coach, and teacher, there was no "quit" in that guy. He held on until January 2009 until he was moved to a hospice, and I traveled from Alabama to West Virginia to be with him until the end, whenever that was going to come. I was there to tell him goodbye when he passed a couple of weeks later, and for that I'll be eternally grateful to whomever it is I should be grateful.

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Response to yourout (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:49 PM

9. Peace to you, yourout. I wish the best for you and this lovely man. 92 is a blessing.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:25 PM

3. When I worked in Los Angeles

A 4 year old boy was brought in that had been hit by a car.
This was pre CT so all X-rays were done portable in er. This was not a trama center but in this case it would not have mattered.

It was obvious that he was not going to make it.

The er doc tried and finally another doc had to call it. The ER doc broke down and sobbed. Then he had to tell the parents and more tears from everyone including me.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:21 PM

6. .



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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:07 PM

5. Hippocraties succeeded.

On the eve of me going to my last aunts memorial...I saw her last week but she not me...I think she knew I was there...with my trade "hey Lady". My aunt was more like an older sister, a mentch, a surrogate mother, and my godfather's wife. We always connected some how or some way. She is gone....she no longer wanted extraordinary relief....I know she is in a far better place.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:50 PM

10. Peace for you too, Historic NY. I wish all of you only peace.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:06 PM

11. One week ago today a friend died

from Ovarian Cancer. She got "sick" about four months ago and now she is dead. We are the same age. Her birthday is in two weeks. I am not over it. Cancer sucks.



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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:06 PM

13. So sorry.

Mom died of ovarian cancer.....it's a stealth stalker for women. A couple of years ago, my lower back pain got worse and a routine MRI to ascertain spinal damage discovered it was from a massive ovarian tumor. I got lucky, and mine was "borderline," cancerous and I got rid of it with surgery alone. Mom lasted a couple of years after diagnosis, but the symptoms she complained of should have been caught WAY earlier by her GP, the person I fault for Mom's CA being diagnosed when it was already stage 4C (advanced). OvCA is a total stealth stalker in women and, so sadly, is caught unnecessarily late in most women. (Mom was in surgery to have her gall bladder removed -- when they opened her up and saw all of the cancer ascites, they just closed her back up and the process began.)

My heart goes out to you and your friend. Mom was an otherwise hale & hearty 72 when she was diagnosed, but at least she got 72 mostly great years.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:47 PM

12. K&R for Free Love!

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