November Residential Series: Eric’s Story
This November, leading up to #GivingTuesday, we are highlighting different aspects of our residential program. This week, we’re telling the story of one guardian whose brother had COVID-19.
Gig, brother to Triangle resident Eric, has felt confident in his brother’s living situation since he moved into a Triangle residence in 2009. Eric knew a couple of his housemates before he moved in, which helped to make it an easy and exciting transition for him from day one. It did not take long for Gig to see the strong bond that Eric was building with the Triangle staff members who spent time with him and helped him with his daily tasks.
In March, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Gig felt certain that his brother was in good hands. Triangle staff members conducted weekly phone calls with family members to keep them up-to-date, and Gig was able to see Eric and wave to him through the window. While it was difficult for Gig to not be able to spend time with his brother, he appreciated the safety precautions that Triangle was taking.
Unfortunately, every family member’s worst fear was realized when Gig received a phone call late one night that Eric was running a fever and had been taken to the hospital. Osa, a Triangle staff member who is close with Eric, stayed with him all night until they received word that Eric had indeed tested positive for COVID-19. Despite the scary situation, Gig felt comforted knowing that Eric was with Osa, a trusted friend, through the night. Once Eric tested positive, Osa unfortunately wasn’t able to stay due to the hospital’s restrictions. Eric remained in the hospital for 10 days, during which time Gig was able to be in contact through Facetime. Throughout Eric’s hospitalization, Gig remained in daily contact with Drew Warren, Triangle’s Chief Program Officer, who kept him updated with all the support the organization was providing to Eric as he received treatment.
After his stay in the hospital, Eric was moved to an alternate Triangle residence for his 14-day quarantine with Osa before returning to his home. Once again, Gig was relieved that Eric would be with Osa. Osa helped Eric talk to Gig over Skype and continued to keep him updated on a regular basis. Thankfully, Eric has fully recovered from COVID-19, and, both wearing masks, Gig is able to take Eric for drives or sit out by the ocean to catch up.
In Gig’s words, the Triangle staff members “could not have handled it better.” He was very satisfied that Triangle staff members took care of issues in a timely fashion, and that Eric was quarantined with a caring staff member. He appreciated that Drew was so familiar with state laws and requirements, and went above and beyond the minimum to keep everyone safe. This situation clearly showed how deeply Triangle’s residential staff members care for the individuals living in our homes, and how they were able to handle a difficult situation in the best manner possible.