When ICU nurse Katie Coleman’s 12-hour shift on Mother’s Day ends, she won’t be able to go home to a hug from her 11-year-old son.
Nearly two months ago, Coleman moved her son in with her parents. He is immunocompromised and Coleman, who rotates in and out of the COVID-19 unit at Medical City Arlington, said she didn’t want to risk an infection.
“It was the safest thing to do,” Coleman said. “Hard, but safe.”
Coleman communicates with her son, Colton, over video chats. About once a week, his grandparents bring him home for a socially distanced front yard visit with his mom.
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But, there’s no physical contact, which means no hugs and snuggles.
“He’s a big snuggler, so he’s always in my lap hugging me, attached to me. It’s just pretty lonely right now,” Coleman said.
In April, the Colemans were reunited again for a socially distanced appreciation rally for front line workers. Colton waved to his mom from the street while he held a sign that said, “Thank you healthcare workers.”
“He had his little sign that he was waving, so that was really special to get to see him there,” Coleman said.
Colton said he most looked forward to snuggling with his mom and watching movies.
“He’s an old soul and he’s a homebody,” said Colton’s grandmother Kathy Havins. “This has been a real sacrifice for him. We’re really proud of him.”
Colton explained why he’s taking all the changes in stride, “No matter how much you complain or put anger on anyone, it doesn’t solve your problem.”
“He’s been a trooper, he’s been a good sport about it,” Coleman said. “I’m so proud of him because I know it’s hard. It’s hard on me to be away from him and I know it’s just as hard on him to be away from me."
Coleman said she is hopeful her family can be reunited by June, as long as people continue to socially distance and COVID-19 cases don’t surge.
“I really hope that we don’t get a big surge,” Coleman said. “I hope that even with everything being open, people are still responsible because there are plenty of people making a sacrifice to not see their families while this is going on.”