Photo of doctor who couldn’t save 19-year-old patient goes viral, capturing visceral pain

A picture showing the pain emergency room doctors face when they cannot save a patient has gone viral touching people deeply.

The photo was posted to Reddit by a friend and coworker of the doctor who explained that the 19-year-old he was trying to save didn’t make it.

“Though this is a common occurrence in our field of work, the patients we lose are typically old, sick, or some combination of the two,” the friend said. “The patient that died was 19 years old, and for him, it was one of those calls we get sometimes that just hits you.”


Thousands of comments came in on the photo.

“As a medical professional, I cannot begin to describe how accurate this is. Either you work in medicine or have an impeccable understanding of what we go through. I’ve never seen it described so perfectly in word format; it’s always been just a feeling. Thank you,” said Reddit user “docburn.”

Another, “out_of_my_mind89” told a personal story of her father who was an ER doctor.

“Once when my sister and I were little, we were outside playing tag. My dad got home from work, and immediately stepped out and yelled, ‘no running outside!’ My sister and I were completely baffled, but my mom poked her head out immediately after and said, ‘no, never mind kids you’re fine!”’ they wrote. “I learned years later that my dad had just returned from the operating room where a 7 year old died on the table after impaling himself on a stick running in his own backyard. It’s sometimes hard for doctors to cope when things like that happen, especially if it reminds them of their children.”


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