Carly Boyd's excitement about her recent wedding engagement was turned upside down after she realized she was not able to share the news in person with her grandfather, Shelton, due to preventative coronavirus restrictions in place at Premier Living & Rehab Center in Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina.
So Boyd did so through glass, with the help of the center staff, and it was all worth the rollercoaster of emotions.
"He was very happy and got a little emotional," assisted living administrator Gennie Parnell recalled.
The 87-year-old ate ice cream Monday afternoon with his roommate when staff knocked on his door and told him a surprise was awaiting him outside. Visits had been shuttered to prevent exposure among the elderly residents, similar procedures are in place at facilities nationwide per guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The staff entered his bedroom, and lifted the window shades.
Boyd was standing outside the window pointing to her ring finger as the staff said, “Look, Mr. Shelton, you have a visitor!”
He looked over and a big smile came over his face, Parnell shared in a Facebook message.
The two communicated through the glass. Boyd placed her hand on the window as Shelton stood up and he aligned his hand with her hand on the other side of the glass. It was a series of tender, happy and sad moments captured in images.
"He told her to come on in and she told him she couldn’t but that she loved him. He told her he loved her, too. You could hear the emotion in his voice and we all had a good cry!" Parnell said.
Family members, staff and residents alike are coping with the standstill on visits at nursing homes and assisted living facilities nationwide. Boyd’s life moment strikes a chord for families in similar circumstances.