Family of stroke victim speaks out about hospital visitor restrictions

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – A local family is begging for people to take social distancing more seriously after their father is fighting for his life in a hospital – alone.

“He needs me there to fight,”says Donna Boyd, wife to Don Boyd.

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Donna Boyd has been by her husband’s side for over 30 years.

But now, she’s not allowed to be in the same building as him due to COVID-19.

Last week, Don Boyd suffered a massive stroke and had to be airlifted to Knoxville’s UT hospital.



He’s now fighting for his life – all alone.

At the time that he needs her the most, Donna Boyd has had to leave her husband to fight this battle without her. 

“I can’t be with him. I can’t give him the encouragement he has always given me. I can’t be there to hold his hand – to make sure he understands he needs to fight,”says Boyd. 

Other families in our area are going through the same thing as they watch their  loved ones struggle with serious illnesses – alone. 

Even though these illnesses may not be related to the virus, recent hospital regulations restrict people from visiting the hospital during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“I don’t think people understand when they talk about COVID-19, that there is patients who are having other issues that are being affected, when you don’t stay home,” says Boyd.

Boyd understands that the hospital rules are for the protection of the patients and their families, but She makes a desperate plea for healthy people to stay home to stop the spread of the virus.

“What you don’t understand is, when you have a large gathering you are jeopardizing the rest of us who want to be with our families who are sick with other diseases, not just COVID-19. We need to be there for our families and because you will not stay in, they are making these rules to protect everybody,” says Boyd.

Following social distancing rules, protects not only you but the people in essential jobs who are risking their lives for us, each day.