An image of a doctor holding a lonely, elderly patient in the ICU was taken by Go Nakamura. The photographer had his camera in the hospital at the right time to capture the heart-wrenching moment. And the photo went viral for showing the brutal reality of COVID-19.
God has given Go Nakamura of Getty Images a special talent for photography. And Go made use of this gift during the coronavirus pandemic by regularly visiting a COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston.
There, the photographer would document the heroic efforts of medical staff on the frontlines. And one of his visits put him in the right place at the right time to capture a powerful image of a doctor that would later go viral.
Story Behind Image Of Doctor Holding Patient
Go Nakamura was shadowing Dr. Joseph Varon, an ICU doctor who had worked over 250 days straight. It’s the doctor’s passion for helping people through this crisis that keeps him going.
“Unfortunately, I can’t take any days off because there is nobody else that will do what I’m doing,” he says.
So, on Thanksgiving Day 2020, Dr. Varon was right where you’d expect him to be — working in the ICU.
Photographer Go Nakamura of Getty Images was there, too. And he caught an incredibly powerful image of a doctor and his patient.
As Dr. Varon was walking through the COVID-19 unit, he noticed an elderly patient in tears trying to leave his room. When Dr. Varon asked the man why he was crying, the response wrecked him.
“I want to be with my wife,” the heartbroken patient replied.
At that moment, Dr. Varon knew medicine couldn’t heal what ailed this man the most. He was lonely, afraid, and isolated. And in a moment of pure humanity, Dr. Varon reached out and embraced him.
“I just grabbed him — I hold him,” he said. “I did not know I was being photographed at the time.”
But thankfully, Go Nakamura of Getty Images was there with his camera to catch the powerful image of a doctor holding this downtrodden man.
WATCH: Doctor From Image Talks About The Powerful Moment
Heart-Wrenching Photo Goes Viral
Go Nakamura’s photo captures the raw emotion of the moment beautifully. This is the reality of COVID-19 for both the patients and frontline workers battling against the pandemic.
Patients are alone and afraid. They don’t know when, or even if, they will see loved ones again. In these desperate moments, they crave the comfort that comes through basic human contact.
But instead, barriers and protective gear meet them at every turn.
Of course, these measures are designed to protect them and others. Yet, the isolation must only add to the feeling of hopelessness.
The image of a doctor hugging his heartbroken patient shows the struggle of frontline medical workers, too. They are a lifeline in more ways than one.
Doctors, nurses, and all working to treat the coronavirus aren’t just providing medical care. They offer compassion and emotional support during a dark time for their patients. And for some, they are by their side, filling in for the loved ones who can’t be there, as they take their final breaths.
All of this weighed on both doctor and patient In the powerful moment where Dr. Varon embraced the elderly man.
“I was feeling sad, just like him,” the ICU doctor explained. “And I was just recollecting all the patients that I’ve had to do similar things with, you know. I will go into rooms, I will sit on their bed and chat with them because they truly need somebody to give them a hand.”
WATCH: Image Of Doctor Holding COVID-19 Patient Goes Viral
This is why the medical field is a calling versus just a paying job. It is so much more than just using equipment, administering medicine, or performing procedures.
God bless the heroes out there serving their communities during this pandemic!
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h/t: USA Today
Featured Image: Youtube/CNN