Coronavirus News: Great-grandma fighting COVID faces setback when dentures go missing

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An 86-year-old woman has endured so much during the COVID-19 crisis after watching her son-in-law succumb to the virus before both she and her daughter became sick.

After a weeks-long struggle, she thought she had won, but now her family says rehab took away something so precious from her - that was even causing her to become more sick.

That's when her family reached out to 7 On Your Side to step in to help.

"She was laying in bed, she had no strength, she wouldn't get up," said Natalia Lorenc.

Lorenc's grandmother, Volodmyra, was withering away in front of her and unable to eat solid food ever since her rehab center lost her only set of dentures.

"Even though she's my great grandmother, I really love her and after seeing her so skinny, I didn't want to lose someone else," said great-granddaughter Izabela Lorenc.

The pandemic has posed a series of struggles for the Greenpoint family.

In March, Natalia's mom and dad contracted COVID. Her mom was hospitalized in ICU for a month and recovered -- but the virus claimed her father's life and he died March 21.

Her grandmother spent the pandemic at Seagate Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn until she too tested positive.

The 86-year-old was rushed to the hospital but her only set of false teeth didn't go with her.

"She was getting stomach pains from not eating the right way and not having her dentures," said Natalia.

For weeks Volodmyra has been eating through a straw while the family has desperately been calling and emailing the Brooklyn rehab center, trying to find the teeth.

"No one would return my call," said Natalia. "I was really desperate. I didn't know what else to do."

So she emailed 7 On Your Side a heartbreaking letter saying her grandmother "cannot eat, it affects her mentally and physically because she cannot eat, please. I was told a social worker would get back to us. But a week went by and nothing. I just broke down in tears and begged my grandma not to leave us."

7 On Your Side continuously called and emailed the rehab center, and later that same afternoon, the dentures were found -- the director apologized and promised to get to the bottom of the delay.

Plus they hand-delivered the dentures to her grandma.

She is now home and able to eat, walk and smile.

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