Changes allow loved ones to be reunited safely in healthcare facilities


WIREGRASS, Ala (WDHN) — COVID-19 has been hard on everyone including family members of hospital inpatients.

“I truly recognize that it has been a long hard year, today we are announcing changes to allow loved ones to be reunited safely in these facilities across the state,” said Governor Kay Ivey during Wednesday’s press conference.

For Denise Bennett, not being able to be with her husband while he has been in the hospital deteriorating has been one of the hardest things she and her children have had to deal with.

“It’s just really hard I just keep thinking that he’s going to walk through the front door, or that I could call him and ask him how his day is going, and then I get slapped with reality and I feel like somebody is suffocating me with a pillow and that I am drowning,” said Bennett.

Denise’s husband, Robert Bennett is a military veteran, he struggled to get care through the VA due to COVID-19 shutting everything down. One morning he went to work and had a seizure that led to him being admitted to the hospital on August 8th. Denise says he has septic shock with an unknown origin and is in a persistent vegetative state. Since August 8th, his wife has seen him a few times but their children haven’t been able to even though he doesn’t have COVID and neither do they.

“I let them know that their daddy was really sick and that he was at the hospital and after a few weeks and his condition just got worse and worse, and more things came up, I let them know that their daddy might not come home he’s very sick and the hospital is doing what they can and we might have to prepare for this,” said Bennett.

“It just makes me feel sad and I want dad to come back,” said Patrick Bennett, Denise and Robert’s son.

Southeast Health will officially be announcing their plan for visitors on Friday, October 2nd but understands this has been a hard time for families

“We know patients and families have been anticipating Governor Ivey’s order in this expanded visitation for hospitals, and so we want to make sure that as we expand our visitation here at Southeast Health we do it very thoughtfully because if you have patients that are already high risks and also caregivers that you don’t want to expose to COVID-19 unnecessarily,” said, Claudia Hall, VP of marketing at Southeast Health. “We want to be able to make sure that we have a great process in place and that everyone remains safe.”

While Governor Kay Ivey’s order goes into effect, Friday, October 2nd, visitation at Southeast Health will not begin until Monday, October fifth.

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