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USA TODAY

MORRISTOWN, N.J. — Nurses, doctors and staff at Morristown Medical Center were left in tears as a mystery man held up a sign to the hospital window thanking them for saving his wife’s life. 

As staff tended to a busy emergency room, the unknown man stood outside the back window of the emergency department, placed his hand over his heart and held the poster sign that read: “Thank you all in emergency for saving my wife’s life I love you all.” 

“We don’t know who the man is, we don’t know who his wife is. The nurses happened to be there and took his picture. What’s beautiful is that’s all we know,” said Karen Zatorski, Senior Public Relations Manager at Morristown Medical Center. 

Hospital staff did not recognize the man but were left in awe by his message. Emergency room nurse Allison Swendsen captured the emotional moment and shared the photo with other nurses in her department. It’s now making its rounds on social media thanks to nurse Paige Vander Vliet who shared the image with her sister-in-law, Shay Vander Vliet, who then posted it to Facebook.

“This picture brought us all to tears. It’s amazing to see not only the ER staff but all the floors coming together during this challenging time. We couldn’t do this without nurses, techs, residents, doctors, secretaries, registrars, housekeeping,” wrote Paige Vander Vliet. 

Health care staff across the world are working long hours to treat patients affected by the coronavirus global pandemic. In support, Morris County residents have joined forces to support health care workers in need of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves.

Residents have helped organize neighbors to sew fabric masks for Morristown Medical Center staff. Biology professors, as well as local school districts, have also teamed up to donate Nitrile gloves, sterile tongue depressors and swabs. 

“It’s also great to see how the community is coming together by donating masks, gloves, Crocs, etc. It’s so unbelievably heartwarming,” Vander Vliet added. 

Atlantic Health System is asking the public for their assistance in donating personal protective equipment, making face masks for hospital staff or sending a monetary donation to the hospital. 

New Jersey reported 44 coronavirus-related deaths and a total of 3,675 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, with 846 new cases as testing continues to accelerate. New Jersey has the second-largest number of cases in the nation, ahead of California and behind only New York. 

“It’s just been an incredible response from (the ER) team downstairs. There has been such strength, determination and grace. I’m so glad they snapped this picture,” Zatorski added. 

Follow Jessie Gomez on Twitter: @jessiereport

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