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IPFS News Link • Pandemic

Five Months Without a Kiss: Parents Plead to Visit Children

•, Leslie brody

YONKERS, N.Y.—Every week Tony Overby comes to a pediatric nursing home near New York City to talk to his daughter Tonyka through a black metal fence.

He can't visit her inside because of state rules aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus. Most of the 169 children and young people at the home haven't been able to hug or kiss their parents for five months. Visits inside stopped in early March.

"Hey Nika-boo!" Mr. Overby called out to his daughter on a recent morning, as she sat silently in a wheelchair on the other side of a high fence at Elizabeth Seton Children's Center. "Told you I'd be back!"

Now 20 years old, Tonyka has lived in the center since she was 12. She lost her eyesight, some brain development and the use of her limbs after a severe asthma attack deprived her of oxygen for too long.

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