Personal Note From ER Doctor Written After Woman’s Death Goes Viral

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emergency-room-letterAn emergency room doctor at New York Presbyterian Hospital has touched the hearts of millions after a personal letter he wrote about the death of a patient went viral on the Internet.

The letter was first published on Reddit by the son of the deceased woman, who reportedly died ofbreast cancer in December 2012. In the letter, the doctor explains that this is the first such note he has written in 20 years of ER work.

The letter has already been viewed by more than 2 million users on Reddit, with thousands leaving comments. The doctor’s letter:

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.

(removed), MD

The 24-year-old man who posted the letter said in an email interview with the Huffington Post that the outpouring of support from Reddit users has helped him cope with the passing of his mother.

“If my mother were alive to see this, she would want readers to reflect on the power of showing compassion toward a total stranger,” he said in the interview. “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.”


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  1. Doctors are shluchim of Hakadosh Baruch Hu and as such they are very warm, compassionate people and that’s primarily why they enter the field. Sadly the rigors of the job and often the gruelling hours and gruesome tasks they are called upon to tend change their caring heart sometimes. This letter doesn’t surprise me. We got a similar one after having lost a parent not long ago. May they be gebentched.

  2. What a respectful and respectable doctor. People notice “the small things”, they really do. Whenever anyone takes the time to write a letter of praise, very often he represents MANY other people who just haven’t WRITTEN about how they feel. With criticism, that is not always true, don’t worry.I don’t think the statistics are equal on that.

  3. Just by the way… The doctor wrote this from his heart, trust me he dident know it will spread this big! Also why hadn’t he wrote for all his pations’ that died?

    I’m not trying to be negative but just trying to bring a point.



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