BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Nursing homes have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19. Families have to be creative by standing outside a facility and waving or speaking by phone to a loved one.
Now, imagine how difficult it would be if your family member wasn’t on the ground floor.
Rick Fraulo, of East Haven, faced that dilemma. His father, 93-year-old Carmen Fraulo is at Branford Hills Healthcare Center.
Last week, Carmen’s roommate and brother-in-law Louis Salzano died of the coronavirus. Carmen now has it. But determined to see his father, Rick proved that where there’s a will, there’s a way.
“I thought about it last week,” he said. “Saturday night I said to Gail, [Rick’s wife] what do you think if I ask Christopher and she said go ahead.”
Christopher Viscuso owns Shoreline Landscaping and Tree Removal of Branford. With the blessing of Branford Hills, Christopher brought his bucket truck to the facility which allowed Rick to both see, and speak with his dad on the second floor.
“It meant the world to me and especially that Branford Hills let us do it. The head lady came out and we had her crying.”
“They put Carmen’s name on the window so we know exactly where he was, Gail, who is also Christopher’s aunt, said. “It was a gift.”
As is the case all around the state with people who have elderly relatives in similar facilities, Rick hasn’t seen his father since early March. He managed a smile when he thought about what it took just to get outside his dad’s window.
“I was real happy. I couldn’t believe that I was in a bucket, looking at my father and thinking what is he thinking about me for doing this. Yeah, he smiled for me and he blew me a kiss, and I told him I loved him, and that meant the world.”
Both Rick and Gail wanted everyone to know how much they appreciated the staff at Branford Hills.
“God bless them,” he said. “They go to work every day not knowing what they’re gonna go home with.”