Her mom was being treated in isolation, so all she could get was a phone call during her last moments.
Carolann Gann worked as a nurse for 38 years and in the process of serving others', she lost her own life to the novel virus. While infected patients are not allowed to meet anyone, it was the kind actions of a fellow nurse that allowed her daughter one final goodbye, PEOPLE reported.
Gann's daughter, Michelle Bennett revealed that it was one of her mother's nurses who gave them the priceless chance of saying their final goodbyes because she couldn't meet her in person owing to the contagious virus. And it was such an emotional FaceTime session that her nurse too was in tears after it.
“I know how difficult this is for them. I can’t imagine being on the front lines of that and having to go home every day and risk infection themselves, but then have the compassion and the empathy to be right there in that moment as if it was their own mother,” Bennett told CNN. “That was one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced.”
Gann, who died at 75, had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and was in the early stages of congestive heart failure. She called Bennett over a week ago to say she was getting tested. When she told her the test was positive, “it was like the world was a little crashing down,” Bennett told CBS affiliate KIRO.
At the Swedish Issaquah Hospital in Washington, where Gann was being treated in isolation, Bennett and her family were able to talk to her, and she “could hear us and respond and tell the kids how proud she was of them,” Bennett’s wife Brandi told the outlet.
But gradually, Gann's condition started worsening. In an emotional conversation with CNN, Bennett recounted how helpless she was for not being able to be by her mother's side and take care of her or tell her things she always wanted to say to her.
“Not being able to be there and hold my mom’s hand, rub her head, tell her the things I wanted to say to her. It was such a helpless feeling, I can just remember the days leading up feeling so frustrated and helpless and not being able to talk to her because she was not conscious during that time.”
When Gann’s nurse realized she likely wouldn’t live much longer, she called Bennett and arranged the FaceTime, telling her, “I’m going to put the phone up to her face so you can tell her you love her and say your goodbyes. She will not be alone, we will stay with her till the end.”
According to Bennett, she told her mother, “I love you very much. I forgive you, mom, I love you. I know I didn’t get a chance to say it. Mom, it’s OK to pass on. It’s OK to go now.”
Bennett told CNN the nurse cried as she took the phone away and that Gann died within an hour of the call; it was as if she held on to her life, all this while, to bid goodbye to her daughter. “She helped so many people as an RN [registered nurse] on their way home, as they were dying,” Bennett told KIRO. “So to be on the other end of that and have RNs help her, it’s inspiring.”
Washington has emerged as one of the epicenters of coronavirus, with at least 5,179 confirmed cases and 223 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to The New York Times. There have been at least 173,741 confirmed cases and 3,433 deaths across the United States.
As of March 31, there are 750 890 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 36 405 deaths globally, as per WHO.
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