A touching photo captured the moment a Texas doctor tried to comfort an elderly COVID-19 patient on Thanksgiving Day.
The emotional now-viral snapshot shows dedicated Dr. Joseph Varon hugging his patient in the ICU at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston over the holiday.
“I see that this elderly patient is out of his bed and trying to get out of his room, and he’s crying,” Varon recalled to CNN in video posted to Twitter on Monday.
“So I get close to him, and I tell him, ‘Why are you crying?’ And the man says, ‘I want to be with my wife,’ ” the doctor said. “So I just grab him. I hold him. I did not know that I was being photographed at the time.
“Eventually, he felt better, and he stopped crying.”
Varon told local ABC-TV affiliate KTRK that he had been on his 252nd straight workday when the photo was taken — and added that he is worried for the entire country as it battles a surge in coronavirus cases.
“I truly believe that the next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest weeks in modern American medical history,” Varon said.
“I have nurses who, in the middle of the day, are crying because, you know, they keep on getting patients, and there are just not enough nurses that can help us.’’
Go Nakamura, the freelance photographer who took the snapshot of Varon and his patient, posted the image to social media, including on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.
“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 wrote.