The pandemic has caused so much strain on so many people, but perhaps one of the most difficult things are the restrictions put in place by medical centers preventing families from seeing their loved ones as they seek routine care and treatment for COVID-19.
A father in Texas is just one of many who just wants to be by his daughter’s side as she battles COVID-19. Due to the hospital’s policy only one person is allowed to be with his teenage daughter, but he hopes the policy will change before it’s too late for his daughter.
Charlee Swearingen, 16, was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Charlee, who has Rett syndrome, a rare genetic mutation, was placed on a ventilator at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Her mother has been able to be by her side, but her father, Kevin Swearingen, has only been able to show his support from outside her window.
According to the hospital’s policy, patient’s who do not have COVID-19 are allowed two visitors, but those with the virus are only allowed one, “but there are no ‘in-and-out’ visitor privileges for these patients.”
It’s an extremely tough pill to swallow for families.
“I truly believe it’s a lot of healing in just the voices your familiar with that talks to you everyday, that lift your spirts up. Maybe make you feel a little bit better and that’s all I’m wanting to do is see my daughter because I don’t know if I’m ever gonna get the chance to again,” he told 12 News Now.
Kevin, who has tested negative for COVID-19, is willing to do whatever it takes to see his daughter, and that includes having a state representative reach out to the governor on his behalf.
State Representative James White reached out to Governor Greg Abbott in an attempt to get some clarification on COVID-19 visitation policies.
“Two fit parents should not have to pick and choose which parent remains with a child who is seriously, seriously ill,” White wrote.
In a statement to 12 News Nows, Texas Children’s Hospital said in part:
We know this is a challenging time for our entire community, even more so for those families who have an ill child in need of hospitalization. At Texas Children’s our highest priority is the health and safety of those we serve. We need our families’ assistance and support in protecting our patients, families and caregivers by following our visitation restrictions.
On Monday, Swearingen was able to be by his daughter’s side.
Unfortunately his visit was to make a “critical decision” about Charlee’s health, and he will have to leave at some point.
While Swearingen was able to get in to see his daughter, if only for a short time, so many other families have been unable to see their loved ones during their toughest battles.
Now, the goal is to surround Charlee with loved ones as she continues her battle with COVID-19.
It breaks my heart that Charlee and so many others have been separated from their families during one of the most difficult fights of their lives. I understand why medical centers have these policies in place, but I wish there was some way that anyone who wanted to visit their loved one could visit them.
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