Mother, daughter separated by COVID for a year

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 6:44 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - COVID-related restrictions on visits to nursing homes have made the past year difficult for many families.

There’s hope that will be changing soon. If so, that will be especially welcome to one local mother.

Karessa Silvera has only been able see her daughter through a nursing home window and that’s not enough. “She needs her family. We are all that she has. We have been her life for all of her 16 years.”

Autumn was born with a rare brain disorder and has since faced a list of physical and neurological conditions. February 27th of last year, she was placed in a local nursing home to recover from surgery.

Then COVID hit. Since then the only contact between mother and daughter has been window visits.

“I stand outside her bedroom window. I bang on the glass, hoping she sees me. They do put me on speakerphone so she can hear my voice, but she doesn’t realize I’m standing there.”

In spite of her handicaps, Autumn has always played an active role in her family’s life, but she is nonverbal. So, tragically, it’s uncertain if she even knows her mother is there or whether she fully understands her isolation.

“Sometimes I can catch her kind of looking my way. I just hope and jump up and down, hoping that she sees me.”

Karessa says she understands the concerns that led to the restrictions. Still, the past year has been series of raised hopes and disappointments.

She hopes the new guidelines change things. In any case Saturday, she will be outside the nursing home marking the second birthday they’ve been apart and hoping to connect with her daughter.

“I’m like I’d take five minutes with her, five minutes. It would be just everything to us, her family.”

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