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Even with only the smallest window of opportunity, family will always find a way to stick together.
Allison and Mike Leatzow, of Tallahassee, Fla., have been separated from their son Andrew since March 20, when the special-needs facility where he resides was forced to go on a mandatory 30-day lockdown due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
“It was like going through the stages of grief where we found ourselves angry,” Allison told Fox News. “We bargained — I had a friend who has direct contact with the governor’s office to make calls and see if we could get some kind of exception.”
“It was like going through the stages of grief where we found ourselves angry,” Allison Leatzow told Fox News of finding out about the lockdown.
Allison, Mike, and their younger son Jack soon came to accept the lockdown regulations, knowing it was best for everyone involved. But that didn’t stop them from vowing to make the best of things.
Andy’s facility just so happens to have a large sliding glass door connecting one of the common areas to the outside — and as the Leatzows soon learned, it was perfect for staging daily visits, albeit with a pane of glass separating Alison, Mike and Jack from Andy.
“We visit him daily through the window and play his favorite game of Uno,” Andy’s mom said.
Andy and mom Allison, dad Mike and brother Jack (left) have been visiting daily to play Uno, Andy’s favorite game, through the window of his facility.
Photos of their daily visits show Andy and his family squaring off on opposite sides of the glass, with Andy at a desk facing the window, and his family outside on stools and folding chairs.
“He has adapted remarkably well, which surprised us,” Allison said of Andy and the family’s less-than-ideal situation. “He was confused at first regardless of how we explained it to him. The first few days he would still ask if we would be coming inside the next day, and if we would be getting him to take out and do fun things like we always do on the weekends.”
Now, Allison says she’s worried that the quarantine will be extended — and unsure of how Andy will take the news if it is.
“[We’ll] never take for granted that last hug we have with one another,” Allison says.
“[Andy] has been counting down the days with a special calendar I made him,” she said on Wednesday. “He let me know today during my visit that we have 10 days to go.”
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Through it all, however, Allison said her family is learning a valuable lesson these last few weeks.
“[We’ll] never take for granted that last hug we have with one another,” she said.