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Nurses use signs in window to comfort family who lost dad to COVID-19: 'He is at peace'

Nurses use signs in window to comfort family who lost dad to COVID-19: 'He is at peace'
Posted at 12:24 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 12:29:36-04

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Intensive care nurses used signs in a window to help comfort a New Hampshire family who lost their father to COVID-19.

Nurses at Catholic Medical Center stuck up signs that said, “He is at peace” and “We are so sorry,” for the children of Rene Johnson.

Angela Johnson and her four siblings had been holding daily vigils outside their father’s hospital as he battled the illness brought on by the coronavirus.

Every day, Angela told WMUR that she and her siblings would try to do something to feel close their dad.

“Yesterday morning, me and brother went and had breakfast in the park to try and feel close to our dad,” said Angela.

It turns out, the Johnson family’s vigils also brightened the spirits of the front-line workers inside the hospital, who say they are tired and incredibly sad.

ICU nurse Kaitlyn Kerrigan told WMUR that the family became “kind of famous” amomgst the staff.

“Everyone would come in and say, 'Is the family there?' And everyone would go to the window and wave," she said.

Following their father’s death, the Johnsons are turning their grief into gratitude. They tell WMUR that they plan to keep the vigils going.

"There's people in there that really need somebody,” said Kevin Johnson.

Kevin said his family is going to make signs, give out food and those inside the hospital are going to continue to see balloons.

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Data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.