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Amid COVID-19 outbreak, Ascension Parish family holds birthday party for loved one in nursing home

4 years 3 months 2 days ago Saturday, March 21 2020 Mar 21, 2020 March 21, 2020 8:43 PM March 21, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES - At Ascension Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center, Cecil Vaughn is recovering from a stroke. For the many months he's been there, family visits have been a constant.

"My mom is here every day and she spends most of the days with him," Cecil's daughter Becky Smith said. "Then his family, his children, myself, my brother, his sisters, his mom, brothers-in-law, other family members are in and out every day, almost every day."

That big family is used to spending a lot of time together.

"Lots of hugs and touches and kisses," Smith said. "So this is really, really difficult for us."

Since last week, however, Cecil's family hasn't been able to visit him after new restrictions at nursing homes and assisted living facilities went into effect. Technology has helped keep them in touch.

"We've been seeing him through FaceTime and through the window," Smith said. "That's just the best we can do right now."

But not being able to physically visit the man they call 'Poppie' didn't stop his family from celebrating his 67th birthday Friday.

"It was no second thought about it," Smith said. "Even though there's a window between us, we had to celebrate his birthday and let him know we love him just as much if he's on this side of the glass or the other."

The party was complete with balloons, streamers, party hats, and even cake.

"He liked his cake so much he didn't want to share," Smith said. "He didn't want to share his cake, but he had a great day today. It was a great day."

Even though no one in Cecil's family could have predicted this was how they'd have to celebrate their patriarch, the party proved one thing.

"There's no social distancing that can stop the love of family," Smith said. "Love can go through windows and I believe that."

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