Coronavirus News: Siblings show support for 101-year-old mother with COVID-19

RAHWAY, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman from New Jersey and five of her siblings drove from all over the country to Michigan to be with their 101-year-old mother after she tested positive for COVID-19 while living in a nursing home.

Megan O'Brien and some of her brothers and sisters -- Denise, Tom, Ellen, Terry and Nancy -- first surprised their mother Jean back on April 22.

"I said I love you and the aide told her what I said and as her head is head down she said I love you too," Denise Watkins said.

Over the next few days they showed up every day outside her window singing to her, giving her notes and painting the windows with words of encouragement.

"The circumstances are a little extreme but this is what you do, this is what family is," Terry O'Brien said.

Jean was living at Four Chaplains Nursing Care Center in Westland, Michigan where she contracted coronavirus.

Her children said those in charge dropped the ball and the retirement home is now under investigation.

Megan O'Brien, who lives in Rahway, said her mother was isolated, had stopped eating and she and her siblings couldn't get any answers.

The siblings moved their mother to a new hospice facility in nearby Livonia and rented a home together so that they could take shifts letting Jean know she's not alone.

In 2016, their brother Joe died from cancer and they were right with him.

"It was the first thing that came to mind when we thought that we might be losing our mom," Megan O'Brien said.

The children said their mother is a fighter who has always been strong willed and determined.

Jean was born in 1918 and survived the second wave of the Spanish flu pandemic and later in life graduated from college at the age of 60.

Doctors said Jean's health is declining but her kids are grateful they got to her in time to celebrate another Mother's Day.


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