Local wife thankful to see husband in hospital

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Now that CoxHealth and Mercy are allowing visitors again, one woman says it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Sometimes, being in the hospital can be stressful on patients, especially the last few months. But for Janell Christensen, having her husband admitted into the hospital right as visitor restrictions expired was a huge relief.

“I just think it was perfect timing for him, especially since he can’t hear. He needs someone else to help him hear what’s going on,” says Christensen.

Christensen has empathy for those who have been in the hospital for a long period of time, and President of Mercy’s Springfield Community Craig McCoy says that was not an easy decision to bar visitors to begin with.

“Hopefully the public understands it was never our desire or wish to have to restrict visitors. It was purely about safety – about community safety. Safety of our patients, safety of our visitors, safety of our coworkers, and making sure we did all we could to minimize the spread of Coronavirus,” McCoy says.

Not only will patients have emotional support from loved ones, but in some cases, it helps staff as well.

“He reads lips. So, nobody’s lips are showing. If they need an answer that he doesn’t know, he keeps saying, ‘She knows, just ask her.’ It alleviates stress for him and for me. It alleviates stress for them because they’ve got a second set of eyes,” Christensen says.

Right now, it’s just one visitor per day, but for Christensen, she says that is just fine.

“You don’t need a big bunch of people standing around beds, but having one person as an advocate to help them, that’s important,” says Christensen.
Visitors will still be required to have their temperatures checked, and wear masks.

CoxHealth and Mercy have some other requirements for visitors as well, including times, and how many visitors can be in rooms.

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