As the world battles back against the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals are taking extra precautions to ensure that as few people as possible get sick. One of the new policies many healthcare facilities are adopting is to limit or even ban visitors. This keeps visitors from getting sick or from bringing the virus to patients and healthcare workers who have not yet contracted it. It’s a tough policy for people who want to see their loved ones and are not able to, but it’s necessary to help everyone stay safe and healthy.
Jessica Roubitchek is one woman who has been affected by her hospital’s no visitor policy during the pandemic. Jessica is a breast cancer survivor, so she’s no stranger to hospital stays and treatments, but she was still scared to go to the hospital to get the scan that would tell her whether her cancer had returned and potentially spread to other areas of her body.
Jessica really could have used a friend to sit at her side and hold her hand during such a difficult and nerve-wracking time. But because of the hospital’s policy on visitors, she wasn’t allowed to bring anyone.
“The thought of walking into that hospital for those terrifying scans that were going to tell us whether or not I have cancer, it just felt like too much,” Jessica recalls.
Luckily, however, Jessica also knows people at that hospital who have treated her before and who care about not only her physical well-being but her emotional well-being. When Dr. Claudia Perez, a surgeon at Rush Hospital, learned about Jessica’s predicament, she promised to be there with her through the whole thing.
“It was a small thing,” Dr.Perez said. “It was something that I thought was the right thing to do and as a human. I think all of us would do that if we could.”
Jessica did end up learning that her cancer had returned, meaning she’ll need more treatments in the future, but happily, she had Dr. Perez by her side to comfort and reassure her.
“My appreciation was just, I mean, I can’t even describe how grateful I am and how grateful my family was that she did that for me,” says Jessica.
Check out the video to learn more about the small gesture that made a big impact for someone going through a tough time. May we all have the kind of courage and compassion it takes to be there for someone the way Dr. Perez was and is for Jessica.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?