TEMPLE, Texas — As the state of Texas grapples with rising COVID-19 cases, Jessie Gonzales experienced the harsh reality of not being able to have his family close when he was admitted to Baylor Scott & White on Friday last week, because of it.
"I came to the ER last Friday because I was experiencing shortness of breath," Gonzales told 6 News. "I had a blockage of one of arteries and was admitted shortly after arriving."
Jessie said that he was told he needed to stay the weekend for monitoring and the surgery he needed to have couldn't be done until Monday when the team of doctors who do that surgery would be available.
"My wife was not even allowed to come inside," he said. "No visitors are allowed due to the COVID-19 awareness."
On Saturday, Jessie said his wife called him on his cellphone as he laid inside his hospital room alone and told him to look out his hospital window.
"There she was standing in the parking lot," he said. "We visited by social distance, talking on the phone, her on the ground and I was on the 4th floor inside my room looking at her from my window."
Jessie said his family was given a big surprise this weekend as well, a surprise that's made him realize how precious life is in the midst of a pandemic we haven't seen the likes of before.
"We had our first great grand baby arrive the day after I was admitted into the hospital for observation," he said. "His name is Elijah and he arrived three months early and is now in the NICU here at the same hospital."
Jessie said that the surprises kept coming through the weekend as his grandchildren wanted to see him, too.
"The grandchildren wanted to do a drive-by," Jessie told us from his hospital room. "So when my phone rang again, I was told to look outside and all they were all standing there, holding signs."
Jessie said the procedure he had went well and that he finally gets to go home today, three days after being admitted for shortness of breath late Friday. In that time, he understand the reality of not being able to have his family close but knows they did their best to make the mandated distance bearable because of the Coronavirus.
He said he can't wait to meet his new great grandson either and while he has to wait a little longer, he's already planning that very first moment.
"When I finally get to hold him and he is released from the hospital, too," Jessie said. "I can't wait to welcome him into our family."
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