Family of 85-year-old woman won’t let coronavirus stop her birthday celebration

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HORN LAKE, Miss. — One Mid-South family says it’s going to take more than a virus to keep them from celebrating their loved one’s birthday.

It’s a special day for now 85-year-old Peggy Ross. She celebrates her birthday with ones she loves most — her family.

The only difference is this year there’s a wall between them.

“It just boggled my mind that I was married to someone all those years, and I wouldn’t be able to see her,” said Hilton Ross, who’s been married to Peggy for 67 years.

He says she’s been at Landmark of DeSoto for nearly two months, and he was expecting her to come home soon. However, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed those plans, extending her stay and preventing anyone from visiting her in-person.

“I seen her yesterday morning out at dialysis, where she was taken out between putting her in an ambulance,” Hilton said. “I got to hug her and kiss her one time for the first time in a while. That was real good.”

Just like many other nursing homes in the Mid-South, Landmark of DeSoto has stopped visitation in order to protect their residents from coronavirus exposure.

Ross and his family say they understand the circumstances. He says he is also keeping a close eye on his own health. But despite the situation, the family says they will continue celebrating from a distance.

Even though Peggy Ross didn’t get that physical interaction with her family, she says it hasn’t ruined her special day.

“I’m having a wonderful birthday,” Peggy Ross said.

The CDC says if you are older, in order to protect yourself, you should practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and avoid frequently touched services.

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