A doctor has revealed the reason why he searches the Facebook accounts of his deceased young patients before breaking the news to their parents.
In a candidly written post explaining the brutality of his job, Dr Louis M Profeta, an emergency physician from Indianapolis, said he owes it to the soon-to-be heartbroken parents to “learn just a little bit about you” before delivering the news.
“In about five minutes, they will never be the same, they will never be happy again,” Dr Profeta writes in a post published on LinkedIn.
“Right now, to be honest, you’re just a nameless dead body that feels like a wet bag of newspapers that we have been pounding on, sticking IV lines and tubes and needles in, trying desperately to save you.
“I know nothing about you. I owe it to your mom to peek inside of your once-living world.”
“You’re kind of lucky that you don’t have to see it. Dad screaming your name over and over, mum pulling her hair out, curled up on the floor with her hand over her head as if she’s trying to protect herself from unseen blows,” he writes.
“Maybe you were texting instead of watching the road, or you were drunk when you should have Ubered. Perhaps you snorted heroin or Xanax for the first time or a line of coke, tried meth or popped a Vicodin at the campus party and did a couple shots.
“Maybe you just rode your bike without a helmet or didn’t heed your parents’ warning when they asked you not to hang out with that “friend,” or to be more cautious when coming to a four-way stop. Maybe you just gave up.
“Maybe it was just your time, but chances are… it wasn’t.”
Looking through their Facebook photos, he said he can see them wearing the same necklace and earrings that now sit in a specimen cup, covered in blood.
“I see your smile, how it should be, the color of eyes when they are filled with life, your time on the beach, blowing out candles, Christmas at Grandma’s; oh you have a Maltese, too. I see that. I see you standing with your mom and dad in front of the sign to your college. Good, I’ll know exactly who they are when I walk into the room. It makes it that much easier for me, one less question I need to ask.”
“I check your Facebook page before I tell them you’re dead because it reminds me that I am talking about a person, someone they love.”
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