Carly Boyd couldn’t wait to share the big news with family and friends after she got engaged over the weekend.
But there was one very important person the 21-year-old couldn’t show the sparkling new ring to: her grandpa.
Like thousands of others living in nursing homes, Shelton Mahala, 87, can’t see guests until further notice due to novel coronavirus.
So Boyd decided to get creative.
"When I arrived at the nursing home … I run around the building to get to his bedroom window and they pulled up his blinds," Boyd said. "I point to my ring and he realized I was engaged!"
Boyd pulled off the special moment with the help of a few staff members at the Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, living facility. The nursing student said she maintains a close relationship with Mahala and it was important that her grandfather heard the news from her personally.
"He was so happy he kept asking me, 'When's the wedding?'" Boyd said. "I know he feels a little trapped right now because of all the restrictions. We both said we love each other and it was just a really emotional moment."
Boyd’s window announcement highlighted a sign of the times for many Americans who now must take extra precautions to limit older individual’s potential exposure to COVID-19. Older adults, in addition to those with underlying medical conditions, are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For the sake of her grandfather and millions of others, Boyd hopes the public takes these guidelines to heart.
"When people think about going out and having a good time this weekend, I hope they realize that others are sacrificing very personal relationships and the social well-being of loved ones to keep everyone safe," Boyd said.
Boyd and her fiancé, Trevor Sellers, 25, hope to be married around Christmas time this year.