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April 9: NYC Letters from the ICU

By Andrew D. Thomas, MD

April 9, 2020

Dear Friends and Family,

I thought to send some letters home via e-mail for those who have requested word from the ground in New York, as well as for anyone who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when I was filling up the address line. If you’d like out, there are some most useful and excellent Spam blockers. Please feel no need to respond, but know that all of you are with me and Angela in our thoughts at this difficult time. 

This day has been the bastard offspring of a less glamorous moment from the Great War of your choice and ordering a bagel at Zabars. Five hours rounding four operating rooms each with three vented patients and we didn’t waste a second. Gimmee an everything, half-schmear, capers, novi and cut it thin. Vent 18, 450, 60, 15  ABG again? 7.25, 40, 70 take the O2 to 50, volume to 400 repeat gas in 2 hours and why did they go down on the levo? You wouldn’t want to order soup from these people.

There is one other person who started with me today. Nicole King came in from Lexington, KY. Really more like a quarter of a person because if she weighs 85 pounds and is over 4’11” then I’m a Spine Surgeon. Just out of the Navy and a Critical Care fellowship before that, she was between jobs and saw they needed a little help out here. So, she left her 4 year old and 2 year old with her husband, who happens to be a Commander in the Navy at shore right now, and hustled to the Big Apple to set things right. Despite being slightly larger than my pencil it was immediately clear that it had been her Navy, this was going to be her ICU, and the sooner my puddle of knowledge joined up with her ocean of it, the better things would go for everyone around here. Except the virus that is.

 I have never felt so comforted by someone so fierce.

Stay well!


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