Writer Pens Heartfelt Letter to Staff at Cambridge Hospital

He wrote an emotional thank you note to the doctors and nurses who cared for his late wife.

The medical system is met, often rightfully so, with its fair share of criticism. But a heartfelt letter published in Thursday’s New York Times reminds us of all the good done by doctors and nurses every day.

Peter DeMarco, a writer based in Boston, penned a letter to the doctors and nurses at Cambridge Health Alliance’s Cambridge Hospital, who cared for his late wife, Laura Levis, after she suffered a severe asthma attack that would eventually take her life.

In the letter—beautiful in its simplicity—DeMarco thanks Levis’ caretakers for their professionalism, for their kindness, and for their empathy. He recalls their efforts to make his wife comfortable, and the times they bent the rules so her friends and family could share one last memory.

In perhaps the most heart-wrenching and deeply personal part of the letter, DeMarco remembers the staff’s concern and warmth on the last night of Levis’ life.

“They asked me to leave the room for a moment, and when I returned, they had shifted Laura to the right side of her bed, leaving just enough room for me to crawl in with her one last time. I asked if they could give us one hour without a single interruption, and they nodded, closing the curtains and the doors, and shutting off the lights.

I nestled my body against hers. She looked so beautiful, and I told her so, stroking her hair and face. Pulling her gown down slightly, I kissed her breasts, and laid my head on her chest, feeling it rise and fall with each breath, her heartbeat in my ear. It was our last tender moment as a husband and a wife, and it was more natural and pure and comforting than anything I’ve ever felt. And then I fell asleep.”

You can read DeMarco’s full letter here. Have a box of tissues nearby.