After 48 Mother’s Days together, coronavirus hospital policy keeps couple apart


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An El Paso grandfather of seven has been at the Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus for reasons not related to COVID-19, but he hasn’t been able to see his family due to a new no-visitor policy because of COVID-19.

Rey and Alicia Mendez have been married for 48 years. However, this Mother’s Day was the first time Rey was unable to see his wife.

“I would have wish that my husband could have been with us today to make us laugh and hugs us,” Alicia said.

Alicia Mendez holding a picture of her husband outside the hospital

“She wants to see him and he wants to see her too. Especially today because it’s Mother’s Day; that’s what she wants to do. I’d rather have her see him than myself,” said son Anthony Mendez .

Rey Mendez has been in the hospital for the past month for reasons not related to COVID-19. He has gone through multiple surgeries, even an open heart surgery according to his family.

His daughter said that thanks to a nurse, she spoke with her father only once on the phone Wednesday, but has been unable to see him in person.

“My father is a very strong man and Wednesday was the first time he woke up since all the medication wore down. And he told us for the first time, he said you know I need one of you guys there with us. And it’s been difficult because they don’t allow us to see him and we miss him,” daughter Rosie Mendez said.

Mendez family outside the hospital

The Mendez family gathers outside the hospital regularly. Alicia prays the rosary outside the hospital, one way she says the family feels closer to him.

The Mendez family said they understand the precautions the hospital is taking due to COVID-19 but hope that soon at least one family member can go inside and visit him.

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