A Jewish doctor treating COVID-19 patients in California was in for a rude shock while treating a severely ill patient who was sporting neo-Nazi tattoos on the body.
Dr Taylor Nichols spotted the tattoos along with his team members – a nurse and a respiratory specialist – when they removed the patient’s shirt for intubation.
Sharing his emotions on Twitter, Dr Nichols said, “The swastika stood out boldly on his chest. SS tattoos and other insignia that had previously been covered by his shirt were now obvious to the room.”
He came in by ambulance short of breath. Already on CPAP by EMS. Still, he was clearly working hard to breathe. He looked sick. Uncomfortable. Scared.
As we got him over to the gurney and his shirt off to switch a a hospital gown, we all noticed the number of Nazi tattoos. 1/
— Taylor Nichols, MD (@tnicholsmd) November 30, 2020
“We all saw. The symbols of hate on his body outwardly and proudly announced his views. We all knew what he thought of us. How he valued our lives,” he said.
Conflicting emotions ran through Nichols when he saw the “symbols of hate” first.
Nichols said the man — whom he described as older and heavy set, his teeth lost to years of methamphetamine abuse — had begged him to save his life. The patient – whom he described as being old and heavy set – pleaded to him for his life.
“Don’t let me die, doc,” he told Nichols. As per reports he had been admitted to a hospital near Sacramento in mid-November and Nichols said was “clearly working hard to breathe. He looked sick. Uncomfortable. Scared.”
“I reassured him that we were all going to work hard to take care of him and keep him alive as best as we could,” Nichols assured him. He however admitted he had asked himself how the patient pleading for his life may have acted if there had been a role reversal.
“For the first time, I recognize that I hesitated, ambivalent. The pandemic has worn on me. And I realize that maybe I’m not ok,” Nichols tweeted.
Nichols admitted to San Francisco Chronicle that when he saw the neo-Nazi hate symbols tattooed on the patient’s body he did not feel “compassion for him in that moment”.
Nichols said he did whatever he could in his capacity however to save the patient.
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