‘Happy tears,’ Family reunites after one year in COVID isolation

Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) – They are calling it a gift from above. This week, a Kansas couple was reunited with their son after more than a year in COVID isolation. 

J. and Claudia Mann live at the Wichita Presbyterian Manor. Since March, the assisted living facility has restricted visitors to avoid any outbreaks. 

Courtesy: Wichita Presbyterian Manor

The couple’s family planned to visit in March, but the pandemic shut that down. 

As holidays went by, socially distanced celebrations were all that J. and Claudia attended. 

Now, with 99% of the campus vaccinated, the restrictions have eased. 

“No words could make how happy we were over that vaccination,” said Claudia.

Monday, Claudia and J. got to hug their son, Greg Mann, and daughter-in-law, Brenda. 

“Today is the first day I’ve touched my mom since February of 2020,” said Greg. “It’s like being a kid on Christmas morning.”

“You don’t know what it means today to this 94-year-old mother and 94-year-old father to get to see their children and touch them and love them again like I did when they were born and I am so happy,” said Claudia. 

The year of waiting was long, but Greg said he is thankful the wait was worth it.

“My big fear was that I would never get to touch them again alive, that they would get sick and die alone and I wouldn’t be able to touch them again so this is a big day,” said Greg.

It was nothing but happy tears in the Mann family and gratitude for the precautions taken so they would get this day to enjoy each other. 

Courtesy: Wichita Presbyterian Manor

“This is the happiest day I think in my life,” said Claudia. “It just feels like a weight has been lifted.”

The Wichita Presbyterian Manor is allowing visitors who have been vaccinated to go inside the homes of residents.

If visitors have not been vaccinated, a COVID test that is negative is required, to be able to have a socially distanced visit. 

Courtney Wolfe, executive director at Wichita Presbyterian, said navigating through the pandemic was a challenge, but getting the vaccines have moved the living facility closer to normalcy. 

“We’re just thrilled to be coming out on the other side of this now,” said Wolfe. “There are tears and a lot of smiles and it is just really exciting.”

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