New York Metropolis’s tearful reunion with healthcare staff treating its COVID
A little gratitude is enough, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
This is the powerful lesson a New Yorker named Jeffrey Gerson learned after recovering from COVID-19 almost a year ago thanks to his health team at NYU Langone.
He decided to write a thank you letter to all 116, and TODAY he had to show his appreciation face to face.
Gerson’s symptoms started as a fever in March 2020, but he eventually required supplemental oxygen and then intubation.
He did not open his eyes for four weeks after the procedure.
Gerson (top left) is reunited with the healthcare workers who saved his life. Photo credit: NBC
But one day he woke up and saw a nurse in his room. He recalled TODAY’s Hoda Kotb in an interview that aired on Tuesday.
“The moment I opened my eyes, her face lit up and she said, ‘Do you know where you are? Do you know what you just went through We are very happy that you are awake. Can I help you call your friends and family? Asked Gerson.
“My heart was so full of appreciation that I felt that a letter was the perfect way to just write everything I felt and get it all out,” he added.
At Hoda’s request, Gerson read part of the letter.
“When you receive this letter, I will realize that you have helped save my life. I showed up in the emergency room on March 18, 2020 with a 103-degree fever and an uncontrollable cough, “he said.
“You all know a lot more than I do about what happened in the next four weeks,” he continued.
“And what has happened in the meantime is nothing short of wonderful. I remember when I woke up that morning that I saw, “Gerson, Jeffrey, 44 years old, COVID positive” written backwards from my position on the frosted glass door to my room.
“I couldn’t stop thinking about how many of you saw this on my door and still went into my room to take care of me. I want you all to know that my life is as full and complete as my recovery, and I have to thank each of you for it.
Jeff Gerson, 44. Photo credit: NBC
“Keep doing what you are doing. Continue to be the hero you are and know that you will forever have my gratitude. “
Then Hoda revealed that dozens of people on Gerson’s health team were present on the Zoom call and heard his words of appreciation.
“I didn’t get the chance to tell you how grateful I am, and that happens at a time when you’re still out there and still on the front lines,” he said, tearing himself open.
“And you have to know that there are people – that there are people who really appreciate what you do.”
One face on Gerson’s screen was that of the director of the intensive care unit, Gargi Mehta.
“I have to say when I first got your letter there were tears in my eyes,” she said.
“You see this patient that you looked after who was really seriously ill and then you don’t really expect that person to make contact months later, so it was a really nice kind of closure.”
Mehta was actually pregnant with her young son when she was caring for Gerson and she told him after receiving his letter that she was struggling with her decision to work with COVID-19 patients while pregnant.
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“She said it was worth getting the letter and seeing how well I am,” said Gerson.
He added that he hopes the positive effects of his thanks will continue to inspire people.
“I want to give an example of how to be grateful, how to be grateful. I want my son to see that, ”Gerson said to Hoda.
“I want him to know you are doing this for people who care for you in a very special way.”