Weymouth Woman Delivers Handwritten Letters of Thanks to First Responders

Marissa Pitts stands with Weymouth fire responders.
Marissa Pitts (center) stands with members of the Weymouth Police Department, Weymouth Fire Department, and South Shore Health.

In early April, Marissa Pitts, a 30-year-old Weymouth resident with autism, called 9-1-1 when her mother, 61-year-old Cathy VanDeusen, was suffering a life-threatening asthma attack.

First responders from Weymouth Fire Department, Weymouth Police, and South Shore EMS answered the call quickly.

However, despite lifesaving attempts, Ms. VanDeusen passed away at South Shore Hospital the following day.

Marissa, a bright, energetic woman, expressed the need to thank all of the people who attempted to save her mother’s life. 

To share her thoughts, she hand-wrote heartfelt letters to each first responder, including Weymouth Police officers Justin Chappell and Michael Egan, whom she credits with keeping her calm while first responders from Weymouth Fire Department and South Shore EMS urgently treated her mother.

She also credited Joseph Donahue, MD, an Emergency Department physician at South Shore Hospital, for his kindness and compassion on that fateful night.  

On Thursday at the Weymouth Fire Department, Marissa reunited with both the first responders who answered her call back in April and with Dr. Donahue. Along with her father and her aunt, Marissa presented each first responder with a handwritten note of thanks.

We're grateful for Marissa's words of kindness, and are touched by her letters of thanks. We're lucky to have such a wonderful woman in our community.


Marissa Pitts stands with Weymouth first responders.
Marissa Pitts (center) stands with the Weymouth first responders who answered her call back in April.
Marissa Pitts talks with Dr. Donahue
Marissa talks with Dr. Donahue of the South Shore Hospital Emergency Department.
Marissa Pitts talks with South Shore EMS
Marissa speaks with members of South Shore EMS.