The personal note from a doctor is unusual and remarkable given that doctors tend to cultivate a professional detachment that shields them from personal involvement in the tragedies they encounter daily in the course of their duties.
The 24-year-old Redditor with the username Mcharb13
, told The Huffington Post
: "The letter was written for my father. He stayed by her side until the very end."
According to the Daily Mail
, the letter came from an unidentified physician at the New York Presbyterian Hospital. The touching note reveals true human compassion. The Redditor
said the doctor's letter was an unexpected source of condolence that has impacted positively on his life after the trauma of the loss of his mother.
The Redditor's mother had lung cancer. She developed breathing difficulties a month ago and the family had to take her to the hospital where she died. According to Redditor Mcharb13
, the family was surprised when they received a letter from the doctor who had never met their mother or any member of the family before the day she died at the hospital.
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 Huffiington Post
reports the Redddtor said: "If my mother were alive to see this, she would want readers to reflect on the power of showing compassion towards a total stranger. 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."