A recent photo of two nurses comforting a man dying of COVID-19 touched countless people’s hearts. But there is an untold story behind the photo that is both heartbreaking and inspiring.
The patient pictured in the photo was the 69-year-old father of Florida ICU nurse Lindsey Fairchild, who herself has been at the bedside of many COVID-19 patients, holding their hands for comfort during their final moments.
When Fairchild got the news that her father didn’t have long to live, she flew to Ohio to say goodbye. She brought all of her PPE with her to the hospital, but to her shock, she was denied entry to her father’s room, even though she’s been working with COVID-19 patients for months.
“I just made the assumption that because I take care of COVID patients every single day, that the rules would be bent for me to go in and sit at my father's bedside as he took his last breaths,” Fairchild said.
So, through a window, Fairchild watched the two nurses comfort her dad in the last hours of his life.
“After we shut off life support, they sat at my father's bedside for over three hours and they did not leave him at all. They never left the room,” Fairchild said. “They held his hand, they rubbed his hair, they let him know that he was not alone in there.”
“It’s heartbreaking to have to stand outside the door and watch your own parent die from something that you've been fighting on the front line for so many months,” she said.
Fairchild said being on the other side of the window has changed her perspective. And she is forever grateful to the nurses who were at her father’s side to ease his path to the other side.
“It was a really special thing, and as far as I’m concerned, those two nurses, Lauren and Ashley are true heroes,” Fairchild said.