East Texas nurse helps family connect after mother contracts COVID-19

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – One East Texas woman has a large support system behind her as family, friends, and medical staff cheered her on down the hallway and out of the ICU.

Vivian Schumer went to the hospital two weeks ago where doctors said her oxygen levels were low. Worried, she was sent to the emergency room where she was tested for COVID-19.

A day later, her test came back positive.

Her son Freddie Summer lives in Austin and knew she was at risk of contracting the virus at the age of 80. The moment he heard of her diagnosis he wanted to be by her side, but hospital staff said otherwise.

“Under any other circumstances we would be able to go to the hospital and be there with her, but the hospital said don’t come,” said Summer.

Instead, staff looked for the next best thing. A nurse for 18 years, Dionne Martin, helped connect the family through Facetime.

“I took it upon myself to say hey we can do this, I can do this for her ,the family was calling and said is this a possibility, and absolutely it’s a possibility,” said Martin.

Summer said it was important to him for his mom to here his voice despite not being there in person.

“Although someone is on a ventilator and they can’t feel the tube down their throat and they can’t talk, knowing they can hear the voices that have always soothed them, I think is essential to healing. Touch I think is number one and then hearing you is also extremely important,” said Summers.

Since being treated in the ICU, Schumer has been un-intubated and transferred to a new unit where she continues to improve.

While Summer said the hardest part is being away from his mother and not having the ability to comfort her face to face, he knows there are heroes caring for his mom and are making the process easier for the whole family.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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