NBC New York anchor Adam Kuperstein has shared the devastating experience of having his father die from the coronavirus "with a stranger holding his hand" in a hospital far from his loved ones.
Kuperstein posted a message on Instagram Monday detailing the devastating loss of his father and the feeling of helplessness his family endured while being unable to be by his side due to coronavirus protocol.
"My dad died with a stranger holding his hand,'' he wrote. "With his wife of 43 years forced to stay inside their home, all alone. With his sons, stuck in the epicenter of this crisis, where never-ending sirens echo throughout a deserted city.
"All we could do was listen on the phone (from our separate quarantines), choking back tears, as the nurse informed us, 'his heart stopped.' That’s when our hearts broke. We were shattered."
Kuperstein's father, whom they called "Aba," which means "father" in Hebrew, was on a ventilator in an Indianapolis hospital for a week.
Kuperstein and his brother were also unable to be with their mother, whom he said also has COVID-19.
"And I can’t even hug my mom!" he wrote. "She tested positive for COVID-19 too. Only minor symptoms thankfully, but at a time where she needed someone to comfort her, she was alone. It’s the cruelest part of this nightmare. She deserves better. He deserved better."
The Emmy winner also paid tribute to his father, sharing that he came to America "with nothing" as the son of Holocaust survivors and "achieved so much."
He also pleaded for others to follow coronavirus guidelines so that they don't experience a similar tragedy.
"So please pay tribute to my dad by protecting your loved ones and yourself as the coronavirus crisis grows,'' he wrote. "Don’t overlook symptoms just because you don’t have a cough or shortness of breath. My father’s symptoms were digestive at first. My mom mainly lost her sense of taste and smell."
His colleagues expressed their condolences to Kuperstein and his family on Instagram and Twitter.
"Oh Adam. I’m so so sorry,'' NBC New York anchor Natalie Pasquarella wrote on his Instagram post. "Sending so much love and prayers from our family to you Michal and the girls."
Kuperstein, who is a father of three himself, also expressed his gratitude for the health care workers who treated his father before noting that the photo he posted on Instagram was the last picture of him with his parents. He also posted a throwback photo of him and his brother as children with their dad.
"It wasn’t supposed to be,'' he wrote. "He had so much more love to give. We miss you Aba!"