Sunday, November 9, 2014

John F. Kennedy Writes Sympathy Note to Mother of a Sick Child

Photo of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy

Pol Light Moment #98 is when John F. Kennedy wrote a sympathy note to a mother of a sick child on August 9, 1963.  John F. Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961-1963.

John F. Kennedy's son Patrick Bouvier Kennedy was born premature on August 7, 1963 and suffered from hyaline membrane disease.  In the early hours of August 9, 1963, with his son Patrick's conditioning worsening, John F. Kennedy went with his friend Dave Powers at 2:00am to the Children's Medical Center in Boston. Prior to seeing his son he stopped to write a sympathy note to a mother whose son had been burned badly and was in the same hospital.

Here is an account by the Washington Post of John F. Kennedy stopping to write a sympathy note to a mother he had never met before.
While waiting for the elevator, his eye wandered into a nearby room, falling on a small child who had been badly burned. JFK summoned the night nurse. He wanted to know how the accident happened. And how often did the mother visit the hospital? When he learned that the mother came every day, the president asked for her name. Taking a slip of paper and a pen from Powers, he scrawled a note of sympathy. “There he was, with his own baby dying downstairs,” Powers recalled in his memoir, “but he had to take the time to write a note to that poor woman, asking her to keep her courage up (Washington Post, October 24, 2013).”
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy died on August 9, 1963 at 4:00am.

John F. Kennedy has been featured on other Pol Light posts. To view all John F. Kennedy posts search with John F. Kennedy label at Pol Light.

Quote Light: John F. Kennedy has a page on the Quote Light blog.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

The photo of John F. Kennedy is in the Public Domain.

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