A Spanish doctor was struggling to cheer up his 79-year-old coronavirus patient. Pedro had tested positive for Covid-19 five times and had symptoms for 46 days.
The doctor reached out to Twitter for help, seeking encouragement from any corner for Pedro. “He is despondent and ready to throw in the towel,” Dr. Carlos Hernandez Teixidó wrote on Tuesday. “Twitter, do your magic.”
The response was immediate, global and overwhelming. He received 8,100 replies to his post alone, many more direct messages, more than 29,300 likes and it had been retweeted more than 7,900 times.
“I have just spoken to Pedro and his daughter,” Hernandez said on his Twitter account less than 24 hours after his initial post. “You don’t know how moved both of them were (sic). I have given his daughter the first 300 messages.” The doctor added, “You are incredible!”
In total, Hernandez received more than 15,000 direct messages for Pedro, he told CNN on Thursday. “Not just messages, put people have sent pictures, videos, some even played music to try and cheer him up.”
“We decided to post the tweet to try and get around 15 people to send him a message to lift his spirits,” Hernandez said, confessing he was very surprised at the outpouring of support. “We posted it at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and by midnight we had 300 messages, including from some celebrities in Spain.”
The messages came not just from Spain, but from neighboring Portugal and from other places in Europe as well as Latin America. For a time, the phrase “Hola Pedro” (or, “Hello Pedro,”) even became a trending topic on twitter in Spain.
According to Hernandez, Pedro has several underlying conditions and had spent around a month in the hospital after being diagnosed. His condition improved, but since the Covid-19 tests kept coming come back positive, he had to continue isolation at home, without seeing his wife or the rest of his family.
“I spoke with him a little bit today and he is in very good spirits,” Hernandez said, explaining that for people in Pedro’s situation, this sort of support “is almost like providing treatment with a drug.”
But the doctor added that while Pedro’s condition has improved his most recent test – the sixth – also came back positive for Covid-19.