Woman reunites with 100-year-old father at nursing home after he survives coronavirus

Woman reunites with 100-year-old father at nursing home after he survives coronavirus
A woman reunited with her 100-year-old father he survived the coronavirus. (Boston25News.com/Boston25News.com)

HOLYOKE, Mass. — After months of worry and prayers over her now-100-year-old father at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, Susan Regensburger finally got to see him this week.

“I was very excited, but I was also very sad because I knew I wouldn’t be able to give him a hug, that they’d be very tight on restrictions,” Regensberger said.

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Her father, John MacKay, is a living miracle. The former Army Air Corps sergeant turned 100 on May 15.

He also recovered from the coronavirus, which killed dozens of veterans at the Soldiers’ Home.

Visits are finally allowed but with strict protocols.

Regensburger had wanted to take her dad’s favorite treat, peppermint patties, to celebrate but said, “They said absolutely nothing could come in.”

So, father and daughter sat outside across a 7-foot table with a nurse’s aide watching their every move.

Regensburger said a nursing assistant sat in a chair. “(She was)… to the left of us with the CNA sitting there monitoring making sure we didn’t do anything illegal,” Regensburger said.

But the hardest part for her was not being able to hug her dad.

“He seemed lonesome to me because he’s very personable,” Regensburger said. And without that social contact, she thinks he’s regressed.

“If he’d had a lot more personal interaction, he’d be sharper,” she said.

Regensburger also worries about the investigations into why so many succumbed to COVID-19. As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services said 76 veterans had died from the coronavirus.

Both the attorney general’s investigation and the governor’s investigation are ongoing.

Regensburger just wants answers. She knows her father was lucky to survive.

“I just hope for the sake of those people who lost their lives that something will happen and problems will be rectified there,” she said.