Family heartbroken by inability to comfort grandmother in hospital with COVID-19

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Granddaughter Elizabeth Siefman and grandmother Shirley Phillips. Credit: WINK News.

There are many families that have loved ones hospitalized due to the coronavirus, and they can’t see them or provide comfort to them. We spoke a family that is heartbroken they might never see their loved one again.

Shirley Phillips is 81 years old. She was living at her nursing home not long ago. But Thursday, she is in a hospital bed at NCH with COVID-19, struggling to breathe.

“When my mother would call her and try to speak to her, she was just crying out in pain, moaning and groaning, and my mother was standing outside of the hospital, and they wouldn’t let her in,” granddaughter Elizabeth Siefman said. “And she will just cry and say, ‘Please, get me out of here, or come see me, you know?”

Siefman prefers to remember her grandma surrounded by her loving grandchildren.

“We have a lot of great memories … Sunday dinners at her house, holidays and sleep overs … always been very close to her,” Siefman said. said. “She’s loving, and she can be fun, and she definitely is a very good cook.”

But Siefman fears she will never taste another one of her grandma’s meals again.

“It’s horrific is what it is,” Siefman said. “Just knowing that the grandmother I’ve known my whole life, the mother that raised my mother, is there alone, possibly dying? You know, she, if she dies, she will die alone without her family.”

A Siefman prays for the chance to see her grandma again, she offers a warning to others with elderly loved ones. Siefman doesn’t know if her grandmother was vaccinated for COVID-19. She encourages everyone to help protect their elderly and not take time with loved ones for granted.

“If they get sick, and they’re admitted to the hospital, and they’re in really bad shape, there’s a chance you’re not gonna see them again,” Siefman said. “This is a real thing. This is a serious, serious thing.”

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