When Conner, a father of three, found out that he would not be able to attend his wife's chemotherapy appointment because of hospital restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, he showed his support in a different way.
Albert Conner, 44, held a sign outside MD Anderson Cancer Center in Sugar Land, Texas, that read, "I can't be with you but i'm here." It also said "love you" and included a thank you to staff working inside the hospital's walls.
"I didn’t feel right not being a part of it because I had promised her that I would be there every step of the way and I felt like I would be breaking my word," Albert Conner told "Good Morning America." "I just got a poster board and our kids and I colored it."
Kelly Conner, 40, thought her husband was at home in Missouri City, Texas, because she had just driven herself to the hospital after telling him she would be fine to go alone. Then, she received a text from him saying he was outside in the parking lot.
"As soon as he texted me, I just kind of lifted up in my chair a little bit to peer out the window and he was just right there," she said. "It immediately brought tears to my eyes and I felt a love for him right then in that moment, that he would do that for me."
"I think I kind of gasped and the nurse turned around and said, 'What’s wrong?' And then she saw I was looking out the window and she looked out and started to tear up too," she recalled.
Albert Conner said he got attention from the nurses, with several of them walking outside -- knowing they'd have to go through a screening process again to get back inside -- to personally thank him.
"A few of them said I was the reason that they come to work," he said. "The attention made me uncomfortable but it made me feel good and was very touching."
Albert Conner said he made a poster board-size sign because he wanted to make sure his wife could see it no matter where he was in the parking lot. It was just by luck that he parked outside the room several floors above where Kelly Conner happened to be assigned that day.
Kelly Conner's chemotherapy sessions are expected through the end of May, after which she will undergo surgery and radiation. She will soon start a new chemotherapy drug that is more aggressive and will make each chemotherapy session longer.
The Conners said they both were initially upset but completely understand the hospital's rule temporarily barring visitors in order to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"When you just reflect on everything and think about all the nurses and doctors and other patients, it makes perfect sense," said Albert Conner. "You really can’t argue it. You just have to support it any way you can."
Still, Albert Conner said he plans to find ways to support his wife. He voluntarily closed his locksmith business so that he can stay at home with his family and not endanger his wife, who is immunocompromised and is working from home for her job.
The family hopes they will be there when Kelly Conner rings the bell at the end of her chemotherapy treatments.
But if not, Albert Conner said he will ring a bell outside the hospital for her.
"This [coronavirus pandemic] is inspiring people to come up with creative ways to continue to show their love and support for family," said Kelly Conner.