Jeter thanks NYC doctor with surprise video call

May 11th, 2020

The word "hero" has taken on new meaning in the era of COVID-19, with first responders, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers risking their own health and working around the clock to treat patients and save lives.

One of those heroes is Dr. Melissa Leber, who in addition to being on the front lines in the emergency department of New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital, is a mother of two small children. On Mother's Day, she was surprised by a special guest during a video call with an ESPN reporter doing a profile on her for SportsCenter.

When this guest suddenly appeared in a window on her screen, Leber -- a former college softball player -- was stunned as he thanked her for her courageous and relentless efforts.

"I want to be one of the first to reach out and say, 'Happy Mother's Day,'" Yankees legend and newly elected Hall of Famer Derek Jeter said. "As an athlete, the word 'hero' is thrown around quite a bit, but true heroes are people like you on the front lines, and what you do every day, risking your personal health and the health of those you love the most for the good of others, is something that is pretty remarkable."

As she continues her tireless work in treating coronavirus patients, Leber has someone cheering her on much like she cheered Jeter on for so many years -- Jeter himself. Wiping tears from her eyes after hearing from her favorite baseball player, Leber thanked Jeter for being an inspiration for her and so many others.

"I'm hoping to meet you in person at some point," Jeter said. "We can have some time, maybe you can bring the kids down to Miami or we'll come up to New York."

"I'll come anywhere," Leber said.

Leber spent many years watching in awe as Jeter led the Yankees, and she will do what it takes to meet with him in person. But it is Jeter who is in awe of her caring for patients in the ER every day at great risk to herself.