Doctors and nurses are on the front line fighting the coronavirus every day. They have always worked long hours under difficult circumstances, but now, the shifts are longer and they have many stresses, including prolonged exposure to the virus and a lack of personal protective equipment. The toll that it is taking on those healthcare workers is unmeasurable. On occasion, however, social media provides us a look inside their world.
Allison Swendsen is an ER nurse at Morristown Medical Center in New Jersey. She had been working a long shift and heard a tapping on the window nearby. When she investigated, she saw a man standing there holding a sign.
It contained a very powerful message that moved her to take a picture and share it with others.
“Thank you all in emergency for saving my wife’s life,” the man’s message read. “I love you all.”
“This man knew he couldn’t come in but wanted to show some gratitude,” Swendsen posted on Twitter with a screenshot of the image that she had originally privately posted on Instagram. “I asked through the window if I could snap a picture and he nodded. He had tears pouring down his face.”
She wasn’t sure who the man was but she did want to connect with him. She looked out the door to talk to him about his wife and he said that she was “great and she is coming home today.”
Swendsen said that she felt a lot better after having a brief conversation with the man. She also got a well-needed reminder of why she loves doing what she does.
“I don’t know his wife, but throughout the last 13 years as a nurse, I realized, this is why I do it,” she wrote. “Times are tough, but we make a difference. I love my team.”
As you can imagine, the tweet went viral as people saw all of the emotions associated with the story. Many people, such as Lauren Robertson, reached out to that nurse and other healthcare workers with the message, “thank you.”