“The first day I knocked on the door of his room and he said ‘Mary!’ We hugged. We both cried. He knew me. I got to him in time," she says. "That is an incredible blessing.”
Her hope now is to help the thousands of family members and care facility patients across the country safely reunite during the pandemic. Mary started a Facebook group, Caregivers for Compromise, to "join forces as a common voice for our loved ones." She is also lobbying states to allow an Essential Family Caregiver designation, which allows one family member to visit their loved one at least weekly after getting tested for COVID-19, and is already in place in Indiana and Minnesota.
“Mine is a happy story. I cannot tell you the blessing it is just to hug him. But it’s also not a happy story," she says. "Because out there, there are literally hundreds of thousands of very painful, sad and increasingly hopeless stories. What about all the people who cannot do what I was able to do? There has to be a plan in place that will allow people to get back to their loved ones.”
Mary hopes to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to "give him some suggestions" on ways to help patients see their loved ones while still staying safe — with or without a dishwashing job.
“There is just a peace that comes from knowing I need to be with him and I am,” she says. “I want to bring that to other people.”
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