Saketh Lingisetty’s father, Dr. Chandra Lingisetty, is a hospitalist at Baptist Health in Little Rock who has been involved in the treatment and plans for care for patients with COVID-19. Saketh, who is 11, has always been interested in his father’s career and has been curious about the virus. These days he sees his father coming home, showering right away, self-isolating in his office, talking to Saketh on the phone even when he’s home.
Saketh was also among the first Arkansas students whose school was closed, after the father of a classmate at Pulaski Academy was exposed to the first positive case March 11, in Pine Bluff.
“So he asked, ‘Why are we responding this way, not going out?’ ” Dr. Lingisetty said. When he learned about the viral infection, Saketh remembered once having a virus himself, with high fever and vomiting. Understanding that, “he thought it would be an extraordinary thing for the nurses” to care for patients in Baptist’s COVID-19 unit. Saketh said he wanted to do something for the angels.
“Why angels?” Lingisetty asked his son.
“When I had a viral infection and was so miserable and had fever, it was bad. I couldn’t take it,” Saketh told him. The nurses taking care of such patients every day were amazing, he said, “and they’re angels.” He told his father they were risking their lives “when everybody is staying home scared.”
Saketh asked his father how many COVID-19 patients they were seeing at Baptist — which Lingisetty said was four or five at the time — and wrote five notes, and asked his father to deliver them.
The notes, folded like origami, read: “Dear Angels, My heartfelt thank you for your dedication and services. Saketh Lingisetty.”
Saketh, who meets with other children on Sundays for what his father said were “life value coaching and lessons” and who helps his family serve breakfast at the Salvation Army once a month, did something “godly and noble,” his father said.
The notes made the nurses’ day, Lingisetty said. “A couple of them teared up. It’s amazing how these little kids, they know, they are observing.”
Saketh didn’t write his father a note. “I told him I was jealous, why are you not thanking me?” Lingisetty said. “I live with you every day,” came the reply.