In the comments under the image medical professionals came out of the woodwork and recounted personal stories evoked by the haunting image.
“I know what that person is feeling,” said one user, boldwhite, who claimed to be a doctor. “Yesterday one of my 17 month old patients died. I was in the bathroom crying in private between patients several time yesterday. I’ve cried in stairwells and hallways.
“It eats at you. Life is very fragile and the pain of loosing those we are trying to help becomes a scar that doesn’t go away. It has shaped who I am as a person.”
Other users recounted the emotions they felt after trying to save a person’s life for hours and ultimately being unsuccessful.
“There is nothing like working on a case for hours to then have the patient die. This picture sums up my emotions and I am sure the emotions of many others working in the medical field,” said TheGreatGator.
“We are never formally trained to deal with loss and/or with giving the worst news of a families life to them.”
A nurse with six years experience, posting under the name KirinG said: “It’s something that’s given lip service by employers, but not really emphasized or given any thought beyond a quick 15 minute computer-based training module. It’s a nasty fact that a lot of people try to ignore or sweep under the rug.”
Others questioned whether giving medical professionals more training would have any impact on how they coped with similar situations.
One user, Jacks_human, said the process of delivering bad news to a family did not get easier with time.