Family Shares Gut-Wrenching Messages From Nurses After Father Dies of COVID-19
65-year-old Rene Johnson contracted the coronavirus while recovering from health issues in a nursing home, his daughter, Angela Daneault, told CNN.
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The infectious nature of the coronavirus is forcing people to distance themselves from their loved ones as they fight their final battles with the illness. Take for example, what happened in New Hampshire, when nurses had to tape signs to the hospital window to help console a family who had lost their father.
65-year-old Rene Johnson contracted the coronavirus while recovering from health issues in a nursing home, his daughter, Angela Daneault, told CNN. When his breathing got worse, he was moved to the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire. While he was there, Johnson's family brought spray-painted signs to the window bearing encouraging messages, since they weren't allowed to see him.
"My brother is the one that started it all and it just became infectious and contagious for us all to find new ways to show my dad we were close to him even though we weren't there," Daneault said.
Initially, Johnson wasn't able to see the signs from his hospital room. But as his condition worsened, he was moved to a room with a park view where the signs were visible. The nurses and hospital staff looking after Johnson also enjoyed the posters, as they gave them hope. A nurse would even come down in PPE gear twice a week to spend time with the family.
"The nurses and the doctors and the staff were just so responsive to us being out there," Daneault continued. "They were making hearts in the windows, waving to us (and) it actually brought hope to them."
Unfortunately, Johnson passed away on Sunday. Staffers called the family members to tell them the news, and posted signs on Johnson's window as a symbol of their condolences.
"He is at peace. We are so sorry," the signs read.
The family took a picture of the signs and shared them on social media. Yet, Daneault says that they didn't do it for sympathy purposes. Instead, they wanted to show how important and impactful medical workers are—especially during this pandemic.
"We would have loved to be by our dad's side, but if we couldn't we are extremely thankful that these compassionate, loving staff took our place for us," Daneault said.
The family started a GoFundMe page to give back to frontline medical workers.
"We truly cannot thank them enough," she continued. "They extended so much love towards us and so much compassion during such a heartbreaking time for all of us ... I feel like it will never be enough to show how much we appreciate them."