'She wasn’t alone': Family grieves, separately, over Suffolk’s 3rd coronavirus death
The family of Suffolk County’s third coronavirus-related death says they are grieving, separately, due to the quarantine measures in place.
Michelle Sorensen, of Huntington Station, said in a remote interview that her mother, Greta Garbatzky, 90, was not feeling well last week. Sorensen last saw her mother on Wednesday, March 11 at the assisted living facility Garbatzky called home.
Sorensen says her mom was taken to an emergency room where her condition worsened, and she tested positive for the coronavirus.
“The doctor called me and said she probably won't make it through the day,” said Sorensen, who is now in quarantine.
The family wasn't allowed to visit because Garbatzky was in isolation. Hospitals now have a no visitation policy in place. Sorensen says she's thankful to the nurses who never left her mother’s side.
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“Basically, the wonderful nurse conveyed the message that I loved her but she never opened her eyes. I do know that when she passed, there was a nurse all gloved up and holding her hands so at least I know she wasn't alone,” said Sorensen.
Garbatzky was born in Vienna, Austria in 1929. Her mother died from breast cancer when she was young and she lost all but one aunt to the Nazis. When she was 9 years old, she was sent away to safety by her father and made her way to England.
She says her mother lived a life with “incredible strength” and embodies the word “love.”