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Las Cruces mother, daughter have emotional reunion after 6 months as nursing home visits now allowed

083120 las cruces nursing home
Harriette Michell reunites with her 76-year-old mother, Harriet DeBusk, through a plexiglass barrier at the Haciendas at Grace Village in August 2020.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - For the first time since the pandemic, nursing homes in some New Mexico counties have started allowing visitors.

“I think sometimes they think we’ve forgotten about them," said Harriette Mitchell, who was reunited with her 76-year-old mother, Harriet DeBusk, on Monday.

"We haven’t," Mitchell said. "We haven’t forgotten.”

The two saw each other for the first time in six months through a plexiglass barrier at the Haciendas at Grace Village in east Las Cruces.

"I was so happy to see her and to know she was fine," Mitchell said. "I knew she was fine, but it’s just hard not seeing her. It was amazing.”

The state of New Mexico put into place new guidelines for nursing homes on Monday, allowing masked open-window visits or outdoor visits that use a plexiglass barrier to separate the resident from the visitor.

“I’m just so happy that they’re finally letting us see our relatives," Mitchell told her mother through the barrier.

The two chatted about daily life, at times blowing kisses at each other. Mitchell complimented her mother's manicure and promised to take her out for a Coke once the pandemic was over.

DeBusk has four grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way, Mitchell explained.

“I just know that she loves being with her family and she’s missed us so much," Mitchell said. "I'm hoping that for her birthday (in December), we can plan a special celebration."

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is ABC-7’s New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend evening newscasts.


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