Children quarantined after spending final moments with COVID-19 positive father
Published Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:14PM EDT
MONTREAL -- A Montreal family is in quarantine after potentially coming into contact with COVID-19. They made the tough decision so their father could be surrounded by family in his final moments.
Kenneth Wheeland, 85, was one of the 14 patients who died from COVID-19 at Centre d'Hebergement long-term care facility in LaSalle.
A day after he died, his family found out he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Quarantine is a small price to pay for his children.
“We were so afraid, horrified, of the idea of him dying alone and not even knowing why his family wasn’t around,” said his son Peter Wheeland.
The family had struggled to speak with their father for two weeks before going to visit him.
“The best that we could do was get them to agree to walk down the hall, see how my father is doing, pass on a message to us then walk back to the phone and tell us what he said or what they observed,” said Peter.
They were finally told, he was in his last moments, and were given permission to visit.
“We really felt it was important that my father wasn’t alone for this last days of life and that was far more important to us than anything else,” said his daughter Judie Wheeland.
“If my father was in health and any of his kids were in a similar situation where they were alone and dying, he would have broken down doors with a hammer to be with them,” said Peter.
Now, the worry switches to the children’s mother, who is in a long-term care facility in Dorval that has had its own COVID-19 outbreak.
“They let me in for three minutes to let me tell her that my dad had passed and they had signs up that her floor was a hot floor,” said Judie. “I should be mourning my father but I’m more concerned about my mother.”
Judie added that the facility is understaffed and getting communication from the facility has been a challenge.
“The state of the CHSLDs was dire well before this happened,” she said. “I think it was a crisis in the waiting.”
Peter and Judie are now in isolation, but happy they got to spend one final moment with their father.