Home Health News Photo shows doctor embracing a ‘vulnerable,’ ‘lonely’ COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving

Photo shows doctor embracing a ‘vulnerable,’ ‘lonely’ COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving

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Photographer Go Nakamura has visited a COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston about 20 occasions, however he by no means will get used to what he sees there.

a teddy bear wearing a blue hat: Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26 in Houston, Texas.

© Go Nakamura, Getty Images
Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient within the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) throughout Thanksgiving on the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26 in Houston, Texas.

Taking images too graphic to share; seeing sufferers at some point who will probably be gone when he returns later within the week – there is not any getting used to that, he instructed USA TODAY on Saturday.


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But on Thanksgiving, Nakamura captured a picture of compassion that has gained national attention because the United States reels under a record number of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

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The photograph shows Dr. Joseph Varon, clad in protecting gear, embracing a patient who has collapsed into his arms. 

In the moments earlier than the photograph was taken, the patient was clearly feeling “susceptible … lonely,” Nakamura mentioned. 

The patient had confused the photographer with a medical skilled. Soon, these professionals arrived to assist.

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Varon usually will get near sufferers, in Nakamura’s expertise. The doctor is recognized for providing cheerful phrases of encouragement. But a hug is one thing hardly ever seen.

Nakamura was centered on capturing the second, so he did not hear the smooth phrases spoken after the shutter clicked. But primarily based on his expertise at the United Memorial Medical Center, he is certain they have been type and comforting.

To the general public, Varon has supplied completely different phrases: “America goes to see the darkest days in fashionable American medical historical past” if the nation doesn’t “do issues proper” in coming weeks.

That was his message to CNN on Wednesday, hours earlier than the Thanksgiving picture was captured.

He instructed the community he has labored for greater than 250 days straight. He mentioned his hospital is full and is growing capability, bracing for an anticipated surge in circumstances following the vacation.

Nakamura plans to proceed documenting, understanding he’ll see extra of the identical: sufferers on life help; “people suffering and dying.”

But by means of all of it Nakamura pays tribute to these on the entrance traces: “I’m grateful to witness a fantastic second and I thank all of the medical staffs for his or her exhausting work even throughout the vacation season,” he wrote as he shared the photo on social media.

This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: Photo shows doctor embracing a ‘vulnerable,’ ‘lonely’ COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving

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