WTSP.com, LAKELAND, Fla. — After being unable to see each other for more than four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sam Reck was not giving up his chance to be by his wife’s side in her time of need.
It’s what he has done for the last 30 years of their marriage, including when his wife, JoAnn, was diagnosed with dementia– and this time was no different.
JoAnn’s son Scott Hooper said:
“I told Sam that I did not want him to go because he was a 90-year-old man and he’s basically walking into a den of lions, ’cause that’s a COVID room.
“At first, he agreed, but then he later said ‘Scott, I have to go, I have to go see your mom’.”
He needed the chance to say goodbye, needed the chance to touch her hand one last time.
Sam and JoAnn used to spend every day with each other from breakfast through the kiss goodnight. They were really all each other had.
JoAnn lived at Porter McGrath, while Sam lived next door at Florida Presbyterian Homes in an apartment they used to share.
But, that is until the coronavirus pandemic began and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order went into place closing nursing homes and assisted living facilities off from loved ones visiting.
The order caused her family to get creative in the ways they stayed in touch to help keep “the bad days” at bay.
The days where she’d think she lost her family on vacation or the days she thought she was locked in a room at the YMCA.
Initially, the two would meet like “Romeo and Juliet,” as they were dubbed. Sam would stay on his balcony and JoAnn would walk over with her walker so the two could have face-to-face time while being socially distant … Read more.