'I should’ve been with her': Families separated from loved ones in the hospital
This Mother's Day has been different for so many families, and it's been difficult for so many of you. Hospitals are keeping visitors out to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, which means some mothers are spending this day alone.
Elizabeth Reiter is a mother of two who lives in Falcon. Right now, her family says she's in the ICU with a serious lung infection that is not COVID-19 related. They have not seen her since April 29.
"When they put her on the gurney, that was the last time I saw her in person," said her husband, Steve Reiter.
Reiter says his wife was taken to UCHealth Memorial Central Hospital in Colorado Springs at first. The same day, he says she was transferred to the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, where her primary pulmonary doctor is. The couple has fought through serious medical issues before, but Reiter says nothing like this.
"She was in the hospital with an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure in December and November 2014. I never saw her as weak as what I saw her over FaceTime," said Reiter.
COVID-19 has changed all of our lives. The separation of patients and their families might be the hardest change of all. Hospitals across the country are banning visitors. Keeping families away isn't ideal, it's to protect everyone.
UCHealth has not allowed any visitors at the hospital for weeks. A spokesperson says exemptions are made for patients receiving end of life care. Beginning May 11,
or support person per 24-hour period, except at University of Colorado Hospital and Greeley Hospital.
Centura Health has a
No visitors are allowed for COVID-19 patients. All others can have one visitor per day.
A spokesperson for UCHealth says these policies are difficult for families and patients. Hospital staff and providers have been educated on the exceptions and can work with family members to ensure they can visit a loved one in an end of life situation.
“I don’t think that they’re doing this out of any cold-heartedness or any lack of concern," said Reiter. "I don’t think that way at all.”
His wife shared the following statement with KKTV 11 News: