Dr. Travis Lee Thompson knows the rigors of working a medical job during a pandemic.
The primary care physician had been putting in long days at American Family Care Dothan before he was diagnosed with COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.
Ken Thompson, Lee’s twin brother who works as a lawyer in Birmingham, said their mother hadn’t been feeling well and came to Lee to be tested for the virus.
She was diagnosed with COVID-19. A short time later Lee was diagnosed as well.
“He didn’t follow protocols and he wound up, we think, getting it from her,” Ken said.
Their mother recovered from the virus at Flowers Hospital. Ken said his mother had a great experience there and Lee noticed.
Lee brought the staff some gift packages when he came to pick up his mother.
People are also reading…
“It sort of got his attention when he picked my mom up a couple of weeks ago and the staff there said that that was the first time anybody had ever given them anything just to acknowledge the appreciation,” Ken said.
Ken said Lee checked into the hospital about a week ago after he started coughing up blood and having trouble breathing. He was put in a room adjacent to where his mother had stayed.
Even after staff members started treatment, Lee’s condition continued to deteriorate.
“He was in fairly bad shape for a few days but he’s responding to treatment and improving,” Ken said on Friday night. And Lee worked to acknowledge the care the medical workers provide.
“Apparently tonight he decided he was getting Olive Garden for everybody,” Ken said. “He told me on the phone today, the staff person said ‘Dr. Thompson, this is going to be over $300.’ He said ‘don’t worry about it. I’m going to eat and y’all are going to eat.’”
Ken said Lee knows the challenges the staff faces.
“These people are having a tough time,” Ken said. “They are used to seeing people that are sick, but they are not used to seeing the number of people that are dying that they are seeing now. It’s emotionally difficult.”
Ken said his brother has been “buying coffee, having pastries brought in, just making the best of it with the staff there. He’s not going to have anything brought in that he’s not sharing with them.”
If his brother can provide a bit of levity in a bad situation, Ken said, “it sounds like he’s doing it.”