COVID-19 vaccine clinic reunites mom, daughter after months apart

It has been an isolating year for many people because of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the elderly, many of whom haven't seen family members in almost a year.

But what about the moment when people finally reconnect with a loved one? At Azura Memory Care in Fox Point, that's just what happened Saturday, March 20.

Many COVID-19 restrictions were lifted recently, including limitations on visitors to long-term care facilities. As a result, Azura hosted vaccine clinics for residents and the public -- where one mother and daughter got to see each other for the first time in a long time.

"It was great to touch her and get that feel, you know," said Sue Mortellaro.

Mortellaro was not able to see her mother, Marilyn, for months due to COVID-19. Almost 90-years-old, Marilyn is a resident at Azura, where Mortellaro received her second dose of the vaccine Saturday.

"We are now allowing families to come into their loved one's room, spend time with them, be together outside, just a window visit they are able to see each other in a close environment," said Judi Blanding with Azura.

Sue Mortellaro with her mother, Marilyn

That second dose was a shot in the arm for mother and daughter, socializing like it was 2019.

"We worry about her being by herself and isolated, and through the holidays was a huge concern," Mortellaro said. "This, oh my gosh, the light of the end of the tunnel, it’s over -- it’s not really over, but at least we can act a little bit more normal."

While the pandemic isn't over, there's no doubt a hug can cure many things in the meantime.

"Just felt life-giving," said Mortellaro.

Azura plans to have more vaccine clinics in the future. As for Sue and Marilyn, Sue plans on visiting at least once a week if they'll let her.

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