Peter DeMarco wrote a thank you letter to the Cambridge Hospital staff, thanking them for the services they had with DeMarco’s dying wife. He said that the staff in the Intensive Care Unit make his wife’s last days as comfortable for her and for her family as it was possible.

The letter written by DeMarco was so touching and heartbreaking that it deserved to be published, and so it did the New York Times on Thursday. Though he is still suffering from the early death of his wife, Laura, he took the time to write a letter dedicated to a dozen people in the staff of the Cambridge Hospital going from doctors to the cleaning staff.

Peter DeMarco and his wife, Laura. Photo credit: Peter DeMarco / The New York Times
Peter DeMarco and his wife, Laura. Photo credit: Peter DeMarco / The New York Times

“Every single one of you treated Laura with such professionalism, and kindness, and dignity as she lay unconscious,” DeMarco wrote.” Then, there was how you treated me. How would I have found the strength to have made it through that week without you?”

Peter DeMarco lost his wife who was too young of age. His wife, Laura Levis was a 34-year-old woman. She was a former Boston Globe Reporter who was working as a writer and editor for Harvard Magazine and the Harvard Gazette that according to her husband, was Laura’s dream job. She was a Staten Island native and lived in Somerville with her husband.

Unfortunately, Laura suffered a devastating asthma attack. He was taken to the Cambridge Hospital where she spent her final week in the intensive care unit. She died on September 22, and her organs were donated.

Despite his grieve and pain after losing his wife, Peter wrote a letter to the staff to thank them for the way they took care of Laura these last days of her life. His piece is called “A letter to the Doctor and Nurses who cared for My wife,” and it has been one of the most-read stories on the New York Times website. It has been shared thousands of time via Facebook and other social networks.

People from different places have thanked DeMarco for telling his touching story, and they have offered condolences for his wife’s death. As well, it is quite unusual given the fact that people usually just tries to blame it on the hospitals and doctors when they lose a beloved person, or they just drown in their sorrow and don’t think about the efforts put by the staff who took care of their relatives.

“When she needed shots, you apologized that it was going to hurt a little, whether or not she could hear. When you listened to her heart and lungs through your stethoscopes, and her gown began to slip, you pulled it up to respectfully cover her. You spread a blanket, not only when her body temperature needed regulating, but also when the room was just a little cold, and you thought she’d sleep more comfortably that way”, wrote DeMarco on the letter.

DeMarco: ‘I will remember that last hour together for the rest of my life’

In the letter, he thanks more than a dozen people who cared not only about Laura but himself and his family too. As he related his experience in the hospital with his friends, they stopped him to ask him how he could remember the name of the whole staff going from doctors to the cleaning staff, and he answered them that it was impossible not to remember. During that week the staff asked them what they would need, from food, a computer, a shower to explanations about medical terms and procedures.

He especially thanked them for helping Laura’s parents to go into her room even in hours when it wasn’t allowed, offering them water, support, and tons of patience. He said that his father in law, who was also a doctor, was impressed and glad about how involved the staff was with his daughter, Laura.

Peter also thank them for their empathy and comprehension, helping him to be as close to her as it was possible. Even for hugging him and consoling him at the most difficult times and for their interest when they just wanted to know more about how kind of person Laura was, taking the time to actually learn about her.

As well, he thanks for the last evening he had with her. That night the staff gave Peter full control of the intensive care unit and more than 50 people from Laura’s life were there with them. They sang opera, played guitar, and danced. Peter said that he wasn’t that conscious about how deeply her wife has impacted on other people’s lives.

“It was the last great night of our marriage together, for both of us, and it wouldn’t have happened without your support,” he said.

Doctors said that Laura was not going to recover, so her family decided to donate her organs to other people in need. Before the organ donor surgery, he was allowed to spend an hour alone with her just to be next to each other in bed, for the last time.

Source: Somerville Patch