‘You’re still my hero’: Daughter visits sick father at Memory Care center after nearly six months apart

Correction: This article has been updated to include the correct information regarding Fieldstone Memory Care’s visitation restrictions.

SPOKANE, Wash.–Spending time with your loved ones is something we’ve all learned not to take for granted this year.

Corinne Hensley understands that as much as anyone right now after waiting nearly six months to see her 88-year-old father.

Her dad, Vernon Gallup, is battling Alzheimer’s at Fieldstone Memory Care on the South Hill, and now he’s fighting off COVID-19, too.

COVID-19 restrictions have kept Hensley from being able to see him in person, until Friday afternoon, when she saw talked to him through the window.

“I love you,” she told him. “You’re still my hero.”

Fieldstone Memory Care has since told 4 News Now that families of residents have been allowed to have window visits since June. They said there was a brief, temporary pause this week to discuss restrictions with state officials, but aside from that, window visits were allowed.

In an update to 4 News Now, the long-term care facility and Hensley both said communication issues were the reason for her not knowing window visits were allowed. Hensley said a few families, like hers, were not on an email list notifying them of changes to visitation restrictions.

“We have had many families take advantage of the window visits, and it’s been wonderful to see them connect,” Fieldstone told 4 News Now. “All visits have been scheduled in advance so that we can follow all state guidelines for safely conducting the visits.

Fieldstone has also said the changes were also updated on social media, but Hensley was not aware. Now, Hensley said she’s just happy to be able to seem her dad, albeit through a window.

Gallup has only mild conditions right now, but Hensley knows that can change quickly, especially with older people fighting this virus.

That’s why every moment like the one she had Friday afternoon is so special.

“You’re being loved, and that’s what’s important,” Hensley said to her father through the window.

That’s a message thousands of families are desperate to get across to their loved ones battling COVID-19.

Hensley is now pushing long-term care facilities for more communication with families.

“It made me feel good, but there’s still a lot of questions and still a lot of communication that needs to be settled and resolved,” Hensley said.

It’s important to note, Hensley said Sunday that she has now received more communication from the facility and has once again been able to visit him.

That communication becomes even more important as the virus takes its toll on our older population.

110 people have died from COVID-19 in Spokane and 108 of those people were older than 50.

That’s why Hensley is asking you to mask up in public, so she can have more moments with her dad.

READ: ‘He needs people… he needs family’: Woman begs to see her sick father in nursing home