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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

'We didn't know if we would see him again': Parents say it's time for hospital to relax no visitation rules

Their son, 24-year-old Michael, was admitted May 18 after suffering similar symptoms to those who have been infected by COVID-19 but he has tested negative for the virus.

Matt and Laurie Eberly of Heath have nothing but positive things to say about the care their son has received at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

365体育投注开户Their son, 24-year-old Michael, was admitted May 18 after suffering similar symptoms to those who have been infected by COVID-19 but he has tested negative for the virus.

His family says his condition remains undiagnosed.

365体育投注开户The last time they saw their son was that day.

Matt and Laurie say the stress of knowing their son was alone in the hospital, as his condition worsened, was every parent's nightmare.

"We weren't sure if we would ever see him again and that's a tremendously stressful situation," Matt Eberly said.

They are speaking out, they say, to make hospitals aware that they should relax their no visitation policies.

"Our son does not have a diagnosis and because he's non-COVID I felt I should have been able to be with him during that time to help calm him, to help reassure him, to help to be the conduit between the health care workers and himself," Laurie Eberly said.

Matt says the tipping point for him was when his son was intubated.

"They were attempting to communicate with him and they were writing things on a piece of paper and they were trying to get him to write and the first thing he wrote was 'where is my mom?'" he said.

Ohio State does have exceptions for families to visit loved ones but the Elberly's didn't qualify.

The hospital sent a statement to 10TV saying:

"We sincerely empathize with families who are not able to support their loved ones in person at this time. It was a very difficult decision to eliminate most visitation during this global pandemic, but our infectious disease experts, regional health experts and state leaders deemed it necessary to protect the health of all patients, staff and the community as a whole. Our care providers do their best to communicate updates to families and facilitate electronic or phone visits as much as possible. Families, such as this one, may request an exception with our Patient Experience department. Each request is reviewed within the current policy and exceptions can be granted based on the details of each case. Like all local hospitals, we are reviewing our visitation policies with our infectious disease experts daily, and we hope to be able to safely ease the restrictions soon. Any changes in our policies will be shared as soon as possible so families can safely support their loved ones as they receive medical care."

Matt and Laurie said hospitals need to do more to help families.

"Find a way please to help communicate with families and let families be part of the recovery of their loved ones," Laurie said.