Local man sees mom recovering from coronavirus at local nursing home under new state rules

Mandeville native sees mother for the first time in nursing home

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - An emotional reunion today between a son and his mother for the first time in ten months due to coronavirus restrictions.

Maureen Sexton was able to survive in a nursing home that Lost dozens of residents and appears to have turned the corner.

“It’s been tough the last time I saw my mom was December of last year,” said Billy Sexton, outside of Forest Manor nursing home.

There are few bonds that are stronger than the one between a mother and her child. The past year tested those bonds like never before.

“I told them you’re an inspiration to me I never heard you complain or say woe is me,” Sexton said.

“Even with the plastic something is better than nothing,” said his mother Maureen.

Billy, a former WVUE photographer, who now works in Dallas, drove 8 hours to see his 82-year-old mother under new state policies that allow controlled family visits for the first time since March.

“If I’m having a bad day I think of you,” he told her through vinyl see through material.

“In the beginning with the virus, a lot of people I really liked didn’t make it through, that was tough,” Maureen said.

There’s no touching but mother and son cover a wide range of topics during a 30-minute visit in what Forest Manor calls the chatterbox.

“When I called you last week and said they allowed visitation you sounded excited by it,” Billy told her.

“Oh yeah, I wanted to see you guys bad,” Maureen said.

The separation between mother and son was bad but made even more difficult when Maureen Sexton herself contracted coronavirus back in April.

“'They tested me but I suspected it because I have a cold and a cough and stuff,” she said.

Maureen, a former nurse did all she could to help others, while drawing on her nurse training and reading up on the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

“You know it’s really weird the first time they came in and told me my test results the first thing that went through my mind was the cemetery. I figured I was a goner,” she said.

Maureen Sexton was not alone. More than 38 people died of coronavirus at Forest Manor, including many friends.

“My first roommate was a little old lady who is a retired nurse she was 92 she did not make it," Sexton said.

"At times I wondered why am I here… to learn patience,” she said.

In the last several months, the coronavirus death rate has dropped. Nursing homes like Forest Manor have learned a lot about coronavirus protocols such as quarantining, testing and social distancing.

“I think that they’ve done the best they could give and what we were all given,” Billy said.

Before the end of the 30-minute visit a mother, who still feels some COVID effects, gives her son another life lesson.

“If you can make something good out of something bad well that’s all right,” Maureen said.

“Mom’s everything, she’s an inspiration. She’s tough. I would do anything for her,” Billy said.

“I could see those tombstones haha,” Maureen added.

Billy Sexton is headed back to Dallas soon, feeling comfortable with the new protocols now in place at Forest Manor designer to keep patients safe for a long and difficult road.

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