Sometimes rays of light shine through our darkest moments. Veteran Chuck Smith was a COVID-19 patient at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane. After his death, Smith’s family submitted a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. The letter reflects the family’s gratitude to the VAMC staff that cared for their husband and father. The following was published in The Spokesman-Review:
Thank you, VA staff
“Amid the many tragedies of this coronavirus season, we’d like to recognize the hard work and the caring support of the team at the VA Medical Center in Spokane. Our husband and father, Chuck Smith, was among those stricken with coronavirus at the Spokane Veterans Home. He was transported to the VA Medical Center, where he passed away.
“We couldn’t be with him because of the lock down restrictions, but the staff did their best. The doctor and nurses stayed with Chuck the last night of his life so that he would not be alone when he passed, which brought much comfort to our family.
“We would especially like to commend the work of the physician assigned to his case, Dr. Camtu Thai. She arranged several FaceTime calls with family members from his hospital room during the final days, giving us the opportunity to say goodbye.
“We can only imagine the burden hospital workers must bear during this crisis, and we are grateful for the attention, sympathy and support we received. The VA hospital staff should be honored for their professionalism, integrity and conduct at this most difficult time.
“The Chuck Smith family (Judy Smith, Erik Smith, Jennifer McCormack and others)”
Thai is the attending physician of the COVID-19 unit at Spokane’s Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center. She has practiced medicine for more than two decades and became a VA employee in January 2020.
Here is a local newspaper story about Smith, his family and Thai.
Bret Bowers is a public affairs officer at the Mann-Grandstaff VAMC. He is a U.S. Air Force Veteran.