CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating in so many ways, but the isolation can be extremely difficult, especially for patients spending their final moments alone.
A nurse at Novant Health brought comfort to a local family who could not be there to say goodbye to their father and grandfather.
It's not how anyone pictures saying goodbye to a loved one and a Zoom call is not what Cassie Brault wanted for McArthur Mackey and his family.
“I could tell by the way they were acting they wanted to be in that room so bad and they just wanted him to have that love and that he was not alone, and I don't know what came over me but I was just thinking I have to hold this man’s hand, I have to,” said Cassie Brault, RN.
She's a nurse in the ICU at Novant. Mackey was her first patient to pass away from coronavirus.
“Death is so hard, it hits me every time, I’m not immune. It still is a huge deal. However, family is with them, holding their hand when they take their last breath,” she said “Dealing with that death was different because the only thing I could offer them was the video call.”
But what she did on the video call made a lasting impact on Wayne Winfield, McArthur’s son. Nurses don’t usually get to see their patients’ families after the fact, but WCNC Charlotte reunited Brault with Winfield over Zoom.
"You did a great job. You did the best you could possibly do for my father and I appreciate you,” Winfield told her.
He didn’t know it would be the last time he saw his family when he dropped him off at the emergency room.
"My father used to get out and walk four or five miles in the morning. He would go bowling every Wednesday, he would fish whenever he could. He was very active and in great shape. To go from that to that in 30 days, it was devastating,” said WInfield, urging others to take COVID-19 seriously.
A small gesture that meant to world to one family.
“If he could've met you, I believe he would've loved you too,” Winfield told Brault.