Hospital puts couple with COVID together in final days

Coronavirus

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. (WGN) — COVID-19 continues to take a toll, but one Illinois family was able to find a measure of peace amid the pandemic.

David Zorn, 89, and Sondra Zorn, 83, of Lombard, contracted COVID-19 at around the same time. Thanks to doctors, nurses and patient relations specialist Johnny Gillespie at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, the couple was able to spend their final days in the same room despite hospital restrictions due to the pandemic.

“This was a situation, we had to make an exemption for this, because the stories that [their daughter] Deanna told, with the gravity of the situation,” Gillespie said.

“Exceptions need to be made, especially in times like this,” said advocate nurse Erin Stafford.

Stafford pushed the couple’s hospital beds together.

“We don’t know exactly what happens when a person is nearing the end of their life, what they can hear or be aware of,” Stafford said, “but I think they were both very aware that they were together and that they could feel each other holding each other’s hands.”

Shortly after being united in the hospital, Sondra Zorn passed away. Her husband died just a couple days later.

The Zorns left behind 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

They were foster parents and raised five children, who were grateful their parents could spend their final moments together. The hospital also allowed the Zorns’ children to visit during their final days.

“I thank them very much to be able to have that last time with my parents and just be able to enjoy just saying goodbye,” said their daughter, Deanna Wilkins.

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