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Family celebrates loved one's 86th birthday outside nursing home window

Patty Bjerkestrand turned 86 on St. Patrick's Day and is still full of life

ST CHARLES, Mo. — Employees at a nursing home in St. Charles are doing their best to bring families together while keeping residents safe. 

Patty Bjerkestrand turned 86 on St. Patrick's Day and is still full of life.

"Hugs to all of you, we just appreciate all of you so much," her daughter Cathy Nolle said to the staff at Mt. Carmel Senior Living in St. Charles. 

"It's been very difficult to not be in there," she explained.

RELATED: Woman's birthday celebrated through nursing home window due to the coronavirus

They're not allowing visitors inside to make sure their residents stay healthy and still have a little fun.

"We can't do group bingo, but we can do very small bingos out in the hall and make sure they still win their candy bars and $2 bills," said an official at the nursing home.

"So, how was breakfast? Good, good and you're looking so good. I want to give you a hug, but I'll just give you an air hug," Nolle said to her mom over the phone and on the other side of a window.

She realizes this new reality of COVID-19 may last for weeks to come but said she's ready as long as her mom stays safe. 

"I definitely tear up, back then the precautions were a slight bit less because we were able to stand back away from the window and they would crack it so we could still use our voices," she recalled.

Whether it's by window or by phone, Nolle is just happy employees are doing everything they can to still let her see her mom. 

"We'll come see you again soon, alright," she said.

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