My dad, Walter Monahan, meant so many things to so many people. He was the bedrock of our family. A husband and father. Grandfather. U.S. Navy veteran. Eucharistic minister at his church. Sadly, in March of this year, he was also one of the first people in Erie County to die from COVID-19.

My dad was healthy, having had his annual physical in early March which he passed with flying colors. But the very next day he felt ill. He thought it was the usual spring cold. A few days went by and my mother noticed my dad having trouble breathing, and his fingertips were purple. She called 911 and he was rushed to Kenmore Mercy.

It was early in the pandemic, and coronavirus was the last thing on our minds. We were shocked to learn my dad tested positive for COVID-19. The next morning, my father was placed on a ventilator and was in critical condition. Dr. Michael Gough and Dr. Thomas Brewer recognized my family’s distress and made it possible for us to FaceTime with my dad. It was a gift to speak to my father and express our love.

My father continued to decline and it became clear he would not recover. The doctors and nurses found enough personal protective equipment for my mom, brother and I to enter the room and say our last good-byes. That was another huge gift. My dad passed in late March, just days after his 74th birthday.

The care we received at Kenmore Mercy during an unprecedented pandemic showed how much the hospital means to our community. Kenmore Mercy was there for us under incredible stress and uncertainty.

I share my story with you, and ask you to please support Kenmore Mercy Foundation with a donation today. In this season of giving your donation will help the incredible caregivers at Kenmore Mercy respond to whatever might come next.

When patients are treated like family, anything is possible. With your help, Kenmore Mercy will be ready for whatever tomorrow brings.

Kelly Monahan Frothingham

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