A clever father of three has crafted a way of supporting his wife while she undergoes cancer treatment alone due to the coronavirus lockdown.
As Diana Cockrell, 46, who was diagnosed with breast cancer a week before Christmas, received her third chemotherapy infusion on Monday, her husband of 23 years, Dennis Cockrell, made sure she knew he was thinking of her.
With the help of their three children, Mr Cockrell, 44, made yard signs reading “I’m here & I love you” the night before her appointment.
The following morning, Mr Cockrell set up the signs outside of her hospital room, alongside a lawn chair to sit in and texted his wife, asking her to look outside.
“Needless to say our plan worked and she was surprised. Nurses from all over the hospital began coming to the windows and crying and waving and taking photos,” Mr Cockrell told Yahoo News Australia.
Mr Cockrell said he received a phone call from a smiling Diana soon after.
The nurses quickly banded together to help her create a response and moments later Diana held up a sign that read “I love you”.
Mr Cockrell said he spent almost four hours sitting outside cheering his wife on.
“I wanted to make her feel like she wasn’t alone in there,” he said.
“Somewhere inside - even though we both understood the reasons why - I guess I just wasn’t satisfied with the situation of her being isolated.
“I had to do what I could where I could to push the limits and let her know I was with her even if it couldn’t be in the same room.”
Mr Cockrell told Yahoo News Australia Diana underwent surgery in January but cancer was later found in her lymph nodes, prompting doctors to place her on a 12-week chemo regime in March.
The dad was able to accompany his wife during her first visit, but by the second appointment he was not allowed to enter the hospital due to coronavirus restrictions.
After every infusion, Diana has three weeks off to recover.
If the lockdown situation has not changed by her next treatment, Mr Cockrell said he’ll set up his chair and signs outside her room again.
“She means everything to me,” he said.
“She is part of me and when we have to separate like this it feels like my body is outside on that grass but my heart is in that room. She is everything that’s good about me.”
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