My mom is more than a number

16 Jun 2020 | 09:52

To the Editor:

In the NJ Herald on Mother’s Day my mother was a number, a statistic. Sussex County’s coronavirus death number 127.

I realize the names of the persons killed by this deadly virus cannot be printed, but I want you to know that number 127 was my mom, Hazel Doty. If you were to realize that each person who dies of COVID-19 is someone’s relative or friend, you might be more serious about maintaining physical distance.

My mom was a resident of the Homestead family for one and a half years, one of the best decisions I made for her care and comfort. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the entire staff of the Homestead. Six weeks ago the Homestead was closed to all visitors to keep them safe.

On April 30 mom was taken to Newton Medical Center with pneumonia. I appreciated the chance to speak to her on a phone in the ER.

Mom tested positive for coronavirus. My mom had nine lives, but she was no match for COVID-19. It took her heart and lungs. I am grateful for the care she received from the ER and One South.

On May 8, my mom went under the care of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice with Jane O’Gorman. Hospital Chaplain Randy Parks took his phone into my mom’s room and held it to her ear while I gave her my last message. Mom passed the next morning.

I hate this virus because I could not be with mom the last six weeks of her life, angry that I could not be with her while she was sick and dying in the hospital. I made the crushing decision not to sit with her body for the safety of my family.

To the county she may be a number, but to me she was mom. The people behind the numbers matter.

Sandy Swanson

Lafayette, N.J.