With each passing day, we know someone closer and closer who lost his or her life due to COVID-19.

In our case, it's the pediatrician who has treated my sons, Albert and Lennon, for 14 years. Dr. Anjali Verma passed away on Nov. 24, according to her Facebook page. She was a wonderful woman, beloved by her patients, who was approachable 24/7 and truly cared about our boys as well as every one of her patients.

Verma's family has provided us with these well-deserved words through email for an incredible physician and beautiful human being:

"Dr. Anjali Verma was a respected physician who saved hundreds of children’s lives over her forty-year career as a neonatologist and pediatrician. She immigrated to the United States from India in 1981. After completing her residency in pediatrics and fellowship training in neonatology, she settled in New Jersey. She served as the staff neonatologist at CentraState Medical Center for 14 years and then started a pediatric practice while continuing to work part-time as a neonatologist at several hospitals in NJ. Over the years, she took care of numerous babies and provided unwavering support to new mothers taking care of their children. After decades of providing compassionate care to her patients, she continued to serve the community by starting a medical spa to help others realize their beauty and confidence."

"Beloved by all who met her, she went above and beyond expectations regardless of the time or day of the week. She was the beloved wife of Pankaj Verma and raised two wonderful daughters, Adisha and Avanti. She was a mother figure for everyone in her extended family, always looking out for their well-being. The outpouring of love and affection for Dr. Verma has made it abundantly clear that her passing leaves a gaping void in the hearts of many, which will be hard to fill."

Among the many is my wife, Deneen.

"I remember Dr. Verma's expertise and concern when caring for our boys since they were born," Deneen said. "I also remember her compassion for me as well  when I was diagnosed with cancer when the boys were 6 weeks old. It was if I became her patient as well. I will always remember her and the incredible staff that supported her. I can so clearly hear the pain in their voices when they speak of her passing."

It was my sister Michelle Vitali who turned us on to Verma.

"To say that Dr. Verma was an amazing pediatrician would be an understatement," Michelle told me. "She was so much more than that to all of her patients. She became part of your family from the minute you walked in the door. She always spent time to make sure all was well, not only physically, but mentally. She never thought twice about answering a midnight call and encouraged you to call her. This is why I always recommended her to all my friends and family. There will be a large hole in our community with her passing."

 

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

READ MORE: LOVED & LOST — NJ’s lives lost to COVID-19