Veteran dying of COVID-19 couldn't speak, so he sang his last words to loved ones

BRAINTREE, Mass. -- Dying of COVID-19, a Massachusetts man couldn't speak, so he sang his last words to his loved ones.

The family of Tom McDermott said he was an amazing man: He survived polio, nearly became a priest and even worked on nuclear submarines, WCTV reported.

Recently, the 84-year-old Alzheimer's patient contracted COVID-19, and his family prepared to say their final goodbyes.

His son, Vin McDermott, said the virus attacked his dad's lungs, so much so that he couldn't speak.

"He was on comfort measures, and there was no expectation that he was communicating," Vin said.

But as the family was watching a mass dedicated to the McDermotts, the hospital called -- despite his condition, Tom was singing "God Bless America."

"The nurses were on the phone saying, 'You have to hear this. This is unbelievable.' In that condition, you barely have the energy to nod," Vin said.

Tom McDermott served in the Marines during the Korean War and was a devout Catholic, so family members say this song choice makes sense.

"When I think about his service and why that song, I don't know. He had deep faith, and if there was anybody ready and at peace, it was him," Vin said.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.