Texas doctor shares backstory of viral COVID photo

Dr. Joseph Varon talks about surging cases in Texas and gives an update on the patient in the photo that went viral.
4:04 | 12/04/20

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Transcript for Texas doctor shares backstory of viral COVID photo
Welcome back to "Gma3." As covid cases continue to soar, around the country and especially in Texas, take a look at this photo, a heart-breaking photo, of a Houston doctor comforting an elderly covid-19 patient. This picture has gone viral. The doctor is the chief medical officer at united memorial medical sender in Houston said he didn't even realize the photo was being taken. He is here to talk all about it. Dr. Joseph Varon, thank you for being here today. We know you are working tirelessly, have not had a day off in 260 days, is that what you said? That is correct, 260 continuous days. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your service, I know your patients do as well. Let's talk about that photo. You said you didn't know it was being taken. Can you tell us what was going on? What's the back story? As you know, I have been very transparent with media. I like the media to come to the hospital to show people what's going on in the covid units so people believe this is a real illness. This day I have a professional photographer taking pictures for a company. He was following me. I'm going down the hallway. As I'm going down the hallway of my covid unit, I see one of my critically ill patients standing up, disconnected from his monitors. He's crying. I forget that the photographer is behind me taking pictures. I go into the room and ask this man what's wrong with you? This man tells me I want to be with my wife. I mean, I guess I did what anybody else would have done. You see this old guy who is scared, who is crying. I just went ahead and hug him and at that point in time the photographer is taking pictures I don't know about. I sit with the patient. I comfort him. He does quite well. He relaxes. The next day I'm getting phone calls from all over the world as to what's going on in this picture. I said what picture? I had no idea there was a picture at the time. Listening to you tell that story, it's hard not to have tears in your eyes just feeling for this man. How is this man doing? He's doing fantastic. He was discharged yesterday morning to the care of his wife. He is doing quite well. Finally he has his wish of being with his wife. Dr. Varon, give us some insight into just how desperate these folks are in this isolation. Just think about it. You're in a room where you can't communicate with anyone else. If you can, you do it via a phone or tablet. Having said that, especially if you're elderly and you're used to talking to people, not calling them on the phone, that gets very uncertain. In addition, we come in with these space suits. They don't know who you are. I get my staff and myself -- we always have a picture of ourselves on our chest so people can know who we are. These elderly patients may have issues with vision. They don't know who you are. They cannot hear you because you have two masks on your face. Some of us have accents. Accents and two masks, that makes it difficult for them to know what's going on. It's like being in jail. Some of them get really, really anxious. I had a woman last week try to escape through a window with no clothes just because she was so desperate. Dr. Varon, we cannot thank you enough for what you have been doing. There are a lot of people right next to you in your hospital and the frontline workers all over the country who are putting in the time and work you all are. Thank you for taking the time with us and continuing to get that message out. We got to hold on for the next several weeks with the holidays and we see what happens after these Thanksgiving get-togethers. 260 days, I don't think we'll try to get you to take a day off. Off. We know it's not going to happen. Thank you very much. 260 days. He's a hero.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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