Coronavirus News: Man heartbroken he can't visit wife in NYC nursing home until pandemic ends

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man who travels from the Bronx to visit his wife at a nursing home on the Upper West Side can no longer do so until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

The New Jewish Home informed Benjamin Harrison that it is closed to all visitors for the foreseeable future -- and now he is worried no one will care for his Alzheimer's-stricken wife of 46 years.

Benjamin Harrison and Elsie Forbes met when he was driving a taxi in 1974 and they have loved each other ever since.

They have 10 kids, 26 grandchildren and about 17 great-grandchildren together.

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Elsie, who is 78, lives at the nursing home on the Upper West Side. From the first day she moved there, Benjamin took the D train from the Bronx into the city to visit her every day.

For five excruciating weeks now, the home has not allowed any visitors.

"I don't want to leave my wife like that, I don't want to never be able to see her, she's everything to me," Harrison said.

New York officials announced Tuesday that nearly a quarter of all who have died from COVID-19 in the state were in nursing homes.

The president of the New Jewish Nursing Home said, "Like all medical facilities, we are treating COVID-19 patients...we're doing everything we can to keep residents in touch virtually with loved ones as we all try to get through these difficult times."

"She's used to seeing me every day, and I'm not seeing her," Harrison said. "Are they giving her food hot like it's supposed to be? All I can do is assume."


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