Gratitude Stories- October 2020

Gratitude is expressed all across MedStar Health-from our friends,families, caregivers, community, and patients. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Click the photos to view each gratitude story.

  • Read Reverend Timothy Cole's
    First COVID-19 patient at MedStar Georgetown
    shares his story
  • Read Dolson Anderson's
    Family of COVID-19 patient expresses gratitude
    to team at MedStar Franklin Square
  • Read gratitude
    messages sent in response
    to our COVID-19 efforts
    View Messages




First COVID-19 Patient at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Shares His Story

After returning from an uplifting church conference, Reverend Timothy Cole collapsed in the shower with flu-like symptoms. He was brought to the emergency department at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and was quickly admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Rev. Cole became the first known COVID-19 patient in Washington, D.C.

When he learned he tested positive for the Coronavirus, Rev. Cole says the diagnosis left him shocked and greatly concerned. For three weeks, he was isolated from everyone except the medical team, while receiving intensive care. “Though these were unprecedented circumstances, I was in the Army, so I’m used to being separated and away from my family and wife,” Rev. Cole states. He then admits, “after learning I was the first diagnosed case in the District, I found myself in a different place, a darker place. But the nurses were great and so helpful to me.”

While Rev. Cole relied on the outpouring of support from his family and congregation, he also found solace in the care he received from our staff at MedStar Georgetown. “This encouraged my faith in the medical system and I thought that the care I got was absolutely top end. I felt that those caring for me were experts,” he says. Reflecting on how clinicians can ease distress in situations such as this, Rev. Cole was grateful for the care he received during such a stressful time. “The nurses and staff were lovely, and outstanding physicians like Dr. Amarin Sangkharat stopped by every day, full of positivity and kept me upbeat. I am very appreciative of the small acts of gratitude shown to me,” Rev. Cole said.

Now home and recovering since his late March release from the hospital, Rev. Cole reflects on his continued gratitude to the frontline workers at MedStar Georgetown. “God bless you!”, he said, “I admire them, and they did everything with such positive attitudes. I was most fortunate to have such dedicated and caring people help me while I was in that situation. The staff was absolutely wonderful.” In hopes of helping others like himself recover from the virus, Rev. Cole encourages community members to be a part of the plasma therapy clinical trial at MedStar Georgetown to treat COVID-19 infections.

Family of COVID-19 Patient Expresses Gratitude to Our Team at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center


When Dolson Anderson traveled with his wife from their home in Richmond, Virginia to Baltimore in late March, he and his family had no idea how much everything was about to change amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

Anderson was admitted to the emergency department at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in March for what would be the beginning of a 25-day battle with the novel Coronavirus. Unresponsive to initial treatments, Anderson was intubated and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) under the care of Saiyad Sarkar, MD and third year resident Yumna Gulzar, MD. 

“There were times on the ventilator I realized he may not come out of this,” daughter Jana Carter said. “The hospital staff seemed like they never gave up hope, which was comforting. They were fighting for him, and also answering all of our family’s questions. They were open with what they were doing for my dad and very receptive to our concerns and our requests.”

With newly created visitor restrictions in place, the only way Anderson was able to interact with his wife and three daughters was by phone and the use of hospital department iPads. Carter credits the video technology available at MedStar Franklin Square with aiding her family, who is spread out over multiple states, during the pandemic. “It eased our minds about what was going on to see and communicate with him. The doctors and nurses tried to relieve some of that anxiety. Dr. Sarkar said that my dad tried to open his eyes again when he heard our voices.”

Carter shares that our ICU department at MedStar Franklin Square helped her family navigate the situation by taking their calls at all hours to provide the same experience you would receive in person. “My sister and I were up at 3 a.m. to call and check when it was quiet on the floor to talk to staff who were always receptive. I felt that they were very communicative in the midst of everything, they were sensitive to the fact that we could not come in and be with him.”

With the family supporting their father from afar, the medical associates at MedStar Franklin Square provided exemplary care throughout Anderson’s hospitalization. “Thank you for treating my dad like he was a member of your own family, especially Dr. Sarkar and Dr. Gulzar. Thank you for keeping up the fight for my dad as long as he was here,” said Carter. “Thank you for looking at my dad as a human and not an experiment since this was such a new virus.” While Anderson succumbed to the illness, Carter reflects on the fact that her family is proud that the medical staff did the best they could with the research they had at the time so that others may have learned from her father’s case to save Coronavirus patients in the future.

Expressing Gratitude with Kind Words

From Honduras, where I live at the present time, I want to say thanks to all of you, for the hard work and compassion you are showing to all the people in need of your vital work. A year ago I was diagnosed with medulla cancer. I was devastated, but the care, compassion and the excellent treatment I received at your facility, made all the difference. God bless you all, and your families.  

Marlene T.

Thank you to all the healthcare providers who put themselves and their loved ones at risk each time they go to care for the sick. And never forget those who work in health care supporting the direct care providers. They are often the unsung heroes. A special prayer for those at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center. I think of them every time I see or read about this pandemic. My heart is with them.

Connie S.

Two years ago, Dr. Molina saved my husband's life--seven bypasses. We will never forget the personal care given to us by him and his staff. We are thankful to God for you all; for using your talents and time to get sick people well. We love you and thank you for your service.

Nancy M., Edgewater, MD

Thank you for all you are doing to care for those being affected by this horrendous disease. The work you are doing is not going unnoticed or unappreciated, and when this is all over, may we be able to give you all the proper thanks for the sacrifices you are making to save your fellow DMV residents. We appreciate you, respect you, and are keeping you in our good thoughts to be able to provide healing to those who so desperately need it.

Dana G.

Sending so much gratitude and encouragement to you all on the frontlines of COVID-19 relief! As a Georgetown University student, your hard work and dedication certainly doesn't go unnoticed. As you continue pushing to end this fight, I'd like you to remember that there are people supporting you and rooting for you. Thank you again!

Aaryn T.

We invite you to participate in our culture of gratitude. Share your story.