'I love you all': New Jersey Man holds heartwarming sign, thanking medical professionals outside emergency room
Even as it was confirmed that the US surpassed China to have the highest confirmed number of coronavirus cases worldwide, a heartwarming image that went viral on social media highlighted that all hope was not lost.
The picture, which was snapped outside the Emergency Room at Morristown Medical Center earlier this week, showed a man who was on the verge of tears and holding a sign thanking medical professionals in one hand while pressing his other hand against his heart.
"Thank you all in emergency for saving my wife's life. I love you all," the sign read.
The image was first shared by Allison Swendsen, who works as a nurse in the emergency department at Morristown Medical Center and since gone on to be shared over 31,000 times.
"In triage the other day, I heard a knock on the window this was what I saw - this man knew he couldn’t come in but wanted to show some gratitude," she wrote in the caption. "I asked through the window if I could snap a picture and he nodded, he had tears pouring down his face."
"I peeked out the door and asked him how his wife was - he said 'great, she is going home today, you are all amazing.' I dont know him, I dont know his wife, but throughout the last 13 years as a nurse, I realized, this is why we do it- times are tough but we make a difference. I love my team."
It is still unclear if the man's wife had been hospitalized for the novel coronavirus or some other ailment.
The picture was then shared by a woman called Shay Vander Vliet, who said her sister-in-law, Paige Van Der Vliet was also a nurse in the emergency department at the hospital.
"She sent me this picture the other day and I feel like it needs to be seen as much as possible! I don’t know how to make a photo go viral but I think this one is worth sharing - so please, share away!" she wrote.
"This picture brought us all to tears," she told the Morristown Daily Record. "It's amazing to see not only the ER staff but all the floors coming together during this challenging time. We couldn't do this without nurses, techs, residents, doctors, secretaries, registrars, housekeeping."
Morristown Medical Centers is one of the many hospitals around the country that is in desperate need of PPE (N95 masks), and a GoFundMe page has been set up to collect donations that would cover the cost of essential medical supplies.
"US medical professionals on the frontline of this war are being compromised everyday due to a national shortage of protective gear such as masks, face shields, gowns, and hair nets," a description on the page read.
"In New Jersey, hospital workers are being asked to reuse N95 or surgical masks and see patients without other protective gear. As the burden of coronavirus increases everyday, so does their risk of infection. Without our medical professionals, we will lose this battle."
The page has raised over $12,000 at the time of writing.