Rockford man unable to visit sick wife in hospital, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A Rockford man says he hasn’t been able to see his wife due to tight hospital visitor restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Edward Verkulien has been married to his wife, Lena, for 16 years.

Lena has been diagnosed with diastolic heart failure and has spent the last 10 days in at Javon Bea Mercyhealth Hospital on Riverside, and Edward has only been able to talk to her by phone.

Hospitals nationwide have adopted tight visitor restrictions to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Although Edward says he’s trying to stay strong, it has been difficult being unable to be with his wife when she’s sick.

“You can’t be there, so then it’s one of those punch-in-the-face things,” he said. “You’re trying to do everything you can for her, but in the end, she just needs you to hold her and hug her and tell her everything is going to be all right.”

Edwards and Lena have resorted to their smartphones to video chat.

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