A doctor has told of the moment he broke hospital rules to allow a daughter to say a tearful goodbye to her dying mother.
Dr. Ronald Simon, who is Chief of Trauma at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, is one of thousands of medical professionals who is working on the front lines helping treat patients with coronavirus.
In a moving Facebook post, Dr. Simon said that allowing members of a family to say their final farewells has helped him ‘heal and go back to work day after day in this crisis.’
Dr. Ronald Simon, Chief of Trauma at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, wrote a moving post about how he allowed a woman’s children to say goodbye to their dying mother
The doctor says the outbreak is ‘different’ and unlike anything else he has dealt with. Pictured, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York
Although the female patient ended up passing away shortly after he bent the strict rules he believes his actions ultimately ‘left the family with a little more sense of peace.’
Dr. Simon wrote that part of the reason he allowed a one-off visit is because he is personally afraid of dying alone.
‘For me, dying alone is more frightening than dying itself. Why? Who knows!’ he wrote.
‘A middle aged woman is dying from a very severe COVID pneumonia. All of our efforts are keeping her alive but barely and we knew that she could pass at any time,’ Dr. Simon explained in his posting.
Accompanying the post was a picture of the doctor wearing a helmet. He explains that the headgear was graciously donated to the hospital so that medical staff could safely perform certain high risk procedures with minimal risk to doctors becoming infected
The doctor explained how he has seven face masks – one for every day of the week which allows each one a full week to decontaminate before it is used again
‘Although our unit has a no visitation policy to protect the patients and staff from others, and others from the patients, we decided that we needed to make an exception here.
‘She was a mother with two older children so we reached out to them to come see their mother while she was still alive. When the daughter arrived she told me she had two young children so we wrapped her up in masks, gowns, gloves and caps and let her see her mom.
Dr. Simon explained to the woman’s daughter that she would be allowed to hold her mother’s hand and advised her to speak to her, as she would certainly be able to hear her despite being heavily sedated.
It seemed to make all the difference in the world.
Dr Simon revealed that part of the reason he allowed the son and daughter to visit their mother before she passed away is because he, himself, is scared of dying alone
‘She turned to me with a look of astonishment and relief and said “She can hear me? I need to tell her I love her.”‘
‘With those words she walked into the room and made peace with her dying mother.
‘A few minutes later her son walked in and did the same. Minutes later, she had passed,’ Dr. Simon said.
‘I was sad about her passing but she was just one of many,’ he recalls.
‘What made my day was that with her passing, her children would never lament that they never had the chance to tell their mom that they loved her before she passed,’ the trauma doctor noted.
The trauma surgeon reveals how while his training prepared him to ‘do battle with life and death on a large scale,’ the entire coronavirus outbreak is ‘different’
Since the post was written, a number of people have shared their thanks for the doctor’s heartfelt words.
‘This is beautiful, humane and yet… heartbreaking. A very sad joy,’ wrote fellow hospital worker Dekeya Slaughter.
‘You pulled the heart strings. Beautiful Ron that her kids had those few moments for the last time. May she Rest In Peace,’ said another hospital worker Sally Vagnini Jacko.
‘You may have lost one life that day, but you saved two by allowing the children to see their mother. You work miracles, Ron. Thanks for all you are doing,’ added another.
Dr. Ronald Simon told of the moment he allowed a family to ‘say goodbye’ to their loved one who was dying from coronavirus despite it being against the hospital rules
Machinery which is kept outside of the patients room is seen as medical staff tend to a patient who is receiving Extracorporeal Life Support inside a COVID-19 ward at Maimonides hospital
In a separate posting online, the trauma surgeon reveals how while his training has prepared him to ‘do battle with life and death on a large scale,’ the entire coronavirus outbreak is ‘different’.
‘I give my hospital administration tremendous credit for taking action faster than most, but we are still reacting to a new situation every day,’ he writes.
The doctor explained how he has seven face masks – one for every day of the week which allows each one a full week to decontaminate before it is used again.
‘This would have been unheard of just a month ago,’ he remarks. ‘Today, I am fortunate to have this.’
‘Doing battle with a hidden enemy that is potentially anywhere and everywhere is tough. Being in NYC, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. is a challenge, but one shared with so many dedicated people that it is a privilege to fight side by side with them.
‘Everyday choices get harder and we are just at the start. Pray for all of those ill and those caring for them,’ Dr. Simon urges.