(RNN) – An emergency room doctor's emotional letter after the death of a patient at New York Presbyterian Hospital has touched millions on the internet.
The deceased woman's son first published the note on Reddit after his mother died of breast cancer in December 2012.
The doctor wrote that it was his first note to a patient in 20 years of ER work.
The 24-year-old unnamed Reddit user told the Huffington Post that the letter was written for his father, but affected him deeply.
"This letter from my late mother's doctor has changed my life," the poster said.
He said his mother had breathing difficulties stemming from her cancer that forced her to go to the hospital. Less than 24 hours later, she passed away.
"If my mother were alive to see this, she would want readers to reflect on the power of showing compassion towards a total stranger," he said to the Huffington Post. "The support I got from Reddit was amazing - doctors, nurses and other Redditors who have lost their mothers to cancer were all shocked and amazed that the doctor took the time to write such a heartfelt, meaningful letter."
The letter reads:
I am the Emergency Medicine physician who treated your wife Mrs (removed) last Sunday in the Emergency Department at (hospital). I learned only yesterday about her passing away and wanted to write to you to express my sadness. In my twenty years as a doctor in the Emergency Room, I have never written to a patient or a family member, as our encounters are typically hurried and do not always allow for more personal interaction.
However, in your case, I felt a special connection to your wife (removed), who was so engaging and cheerful in spite of her illness and trouble breathing. I was also touched by the fact that you seemed to be a very loving couple. You were highly supportive of her, asking the right questions with calm, care and concern. From my experience as a physician, I find that the love and support of a spouse or a family member is the most soothing gift, bringing peace and serenity to those critically ill.
I am sorry for your loss and I hope you can find comfort in the memory of your wife's great spirit and of your loving bond. My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family.
More than 2 million Reddit users have viewed the note, with thousands leaving comments.