Dr. Joseph Varon had been working for more than 250 consecutive days. He assured the patient everything was going to be better.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on everyone. However, those most affected are the medical workers. Having to work for long hours with the risk of catching the virus, these first responders are putting a lot in line. Their sacrifice is one of the main reasons we are able to curb the infectious virus to a great extent. A recent incident from Houston is an example of the commitment they have to their profession and the millions affected by the virus.
Dr. Joseph Varon woke up to wear his PPE gear on Thanksgiving while families across the country were ready to dig into their roast turkey and pie. Despite working for more than 250 consecutive days, Dr. Varon, along with his exhausted hospital staff, was determined to battle the virus even on a holiday. The doctor who visited the ICU an emotional moment with an elderly patient. When Dr. Varon, the chief of staff at United Memorial Medical Center, walked into the ward he met with a lonely pensioner who fell into his arms and started crying.
“I want to be with my wife,” said the sorrowful man, according to The Washington Post. The man was out of his bed and seeking help when the doctor noticed him. The pensioner's tears moved the doctor. Fully clad in his protective gear, the doctor hugged and consoled the disturbed man.
"The man was crying so I felt so bad for him that I went and hugged him, and I was telling him to relax everything is going to be better," said the doctor, according to Click2Houston. The emotional moment was captured by photographer Go Nakamura. He was at the ward documenting the pandemic for Getty Images.
Posting the image on social media, Nakamura wrote, "I am grateful to witness a wonderful moment and I thank all the medical staffs for their hard work even during the holiday season." The post garnered a lot of attention online.
Speaking of the image going viral, the photographer stated, "I am so glad the photo went viral because people are talking about what is really happening inside of hospitals. I believe the photo can be the door to certain people so they can start to realize what is going on and what the reality is in the world right now."
According to USA Today, the photographer claimed that the patient looked vulnerable and lonely. He also went on to say that Dr. Varon often became close to his patients and referred to him as a “warm, big-hearted person."
He has heard the doctor comforting and encouraging patients during their tough days on other occasions as well. Nakamura has visited the ICU around 20 times. He hopes to continue capturing these moments despite knowing he would have to see more of the same people battling for their lives on life support or others suffering and dying.
“I was just recollecting all the patients that I’ve had to do similar things with... because they truly need somebody.”— New Day (@NewDay) November 30, 2020
Houston Dr. Joseph Varon, who has worked 256 straight days, was seen comforting an elderly Covid-19 patient in a widely-shared photohttps://t.co/TZFrzscle0 pic.twitter.com/2YUImD7lT0
Meanwhile, Dr. Varon recounted the moment and said, "I was feeling sad, just like him, and I was just recollecting all the patients that I have had to do similar things with," according to CNN. He continued, "I would go into their rooms, sit on their beds, and chat with them because they truly need somebody." However, he added many medical workers were unable to comfort the patients due to the surge in the number of patients admitted every single day. As per statistics, Texas has recorded more than 1,200,000 cases and more than 21,000 deaths.
On a good note, Dr. Varon said that the patient in the image is expected to be discharged this week.