Unable to visit because of COVID-19 restrictions, family prays for heart patient outside Duke hospital

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Whitney Rochelle and her family are like other families who can't visit sick relatives in the hospital because of COVID-19 visitor restrictions.

Each week, they go to the entrance to Duke Hospital to pray for their brother, who needs a new heart.

"We pray not just for the healing for him and God's miracle for him, but for others that are also patients in hospitals," Rochelle told ABC 11. "Knowing how we feel, we can imagine the pain that others are feeling having loved ones there they can't physically touch."

Rochelle's 28-year-old brother has been in the hospital for two weeks waiting for a heart transplant, which she said could take another three to four weeks.

Visitors have been restricted to visit patients at Duke Hospital since March 23.

Hospitals in the Triangle only allow few exceptions:

  • A patient nearing death
  • A patient giving birth.
  • A visitor for a pediatric patient, or for one being discharged


Although the Rochelle family understands the reason, they want doctors to know this:

"Please be effective communicators for the people that are out here on the outside. So whatever drastic measures they can take just go the extra mile to make a call to us that means the world to us," Rochelle said.

Right now, the family communicates through the phone and FaceTime.
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