'I want to be with my wife': Heartbreaking photo shows doctor comforting elderly Covid-19 patient

'So I get close to him and I (ask) him, 'Why are you crying?'
'I want to be with my wife': Heartbreaking photo shows doctor comforting elderly Covid-19 patient

Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

A photograph of a US doctor comforting an elderly Covid-19 patient whilst cladded in PEE has gone viral around the world.

Joseph Varon, a doctor treating coronavirus patients at a Texas hospital, was working his 252nd day in a row when a distraught elderly man in the Covid-19 intensive care unit stopped him in his tracks.

Dr Varon, chief of staff at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, told CNN he was entering the Covid ICU last Thursday when he saw the patient "out of his bed and trying to get out of the room".

"And he's crying," Dr Varon said. "So I get close to him and I (ask) him, 'Why are you crying?'"

"And the man says, 'I want to be with my wife'. So I just grab him and I hold him," Dr Varon said. 

"I was feeling very sorry for him. I was feeling very sad, just like him."

"Eventually he felt better and he stopped crying," Dr Varon told CNN.

"I don't know why I haven't broken down," the doctor said. "My nurses cry in the middle of the day."

Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
Medical staff wearing full PPE push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside of the Covid-19 intensive care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center on June 30, 2020 in Houston, Texas(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

Dr Varon said the isolation of the Covid unit was difficult for many patients, particularly the elderly.

"You can imagine," he said. "You are inside a room where people are coming in spacesuits.

"When you are an elderly individual, it's more difficult because you are alone.

Some of them cry. Some of them try to escape. We actually had somebody who tried to escape through a window the other day.

Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since Texas reopened, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus spreads. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since Texas reopened, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the virus spreads. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

The moment was captured on Thanksgiving Day by photographer Go Nakamura of Getty Images.

The image circulated widely online over the weekend after Nakamura posted it on Facebook

“I am grateful to witness a wonderful moment and I thank all the medical staffs for their hard work even during the holiday season,” Nakamura captioned the post.

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