As Massachusetts emergency room nurse Jeanna Barbieri cares for COVID19 patients, she realized that for some patients she is the last person they saw before dying.
Now she has decided to bring some happiness to her patients who cannot see their families because of the no visitor policy meant to protect against the disease's spread. The nurse at Lowell General Hospital has been printing out family photos to bring comfort to the sick.
“I was the last one to spend time with her and, while that’s a truth that many of us are facing all over the country in every hospital, it just really touched me and I was feeling the weight of the situation,” Barbieri said.
An old friend Barbieri went to high school with then reached out to thank her for all she and other health care workers were doing to help the sick.
“After we started talking, I found out that his father was in our ICU and I offered to bring in pictures of his family,” Barbieri said.
The ER nurse picked the photos up from her friend’s mailbox and brought them to the hospital, deciding that this was something that could help a lot of others battling the disease.
Friends and family of patients at Lowell General Hospital can email photos to Barbieri at PicturesForPatients@lowellgeneral.org. Barbieri prints out the photos and delivers them to the patient’s unit.
Following the project’s launch, Barbieri said she received a message from the daughter of a woman who sent pictures to her ill husband that “really made all of this worth it. The daughter told me that it was the first time her mother had smiled and had hope for days, and that just really touched me,” she said.