A woman in Jacksonville, Florida, is going to great lengths to visit her husband with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
“I told him I’d be there with him, holding his hand,” said his wife, Mary, adding that when they tried a window visit, Steve just cried.
“You can’t explain it to him,” she continued.
The couple had been separated since March. Mary told reporters in June that he had lost ten pounds during that time.
“He’s just sitting there, melting away. I know it. I can feel it,” she explained at the time.
The need to protect the elderly and medically fragile was something Mary understood, but she believed she could follow the safety rules and precautions to go inside and see her husband.
“His nurse practitioner goes in there every day. I saw her with [a] gown and her gloves and they scanned her for her temperature. Same with staff every day,” she said.
Thankfully, when the nursing facility’s corporate office heard the couple’s story, they called and offered her a job as a dishwasher inside the nursing home.
After more than 100 days apart, Mary was recently reunited with her beloved husband.
“He touched my face, even with the mask on, just to touch my face and look at me. Just to touch him, just to touch his arm and to be that close to him, again, after 114 days,” she said.
“I’m absolutely sure he knew me, and he actually said my name, he actually said Mary, which I’m incredibly thankful for,” she continued.
Because of their experience, Mary created a Facebook group called “Caregivers for Compromise – because isolation kills too!” that hopes to persuade the governor that safe visits are possible.
“Her group will also push for the state to communicate potential plans with families, such as what the criteria will be exactly to open nursing homes to visitors,” according to WFAA.