Family copes with added challenges to self isolate

Peggy, Michael and George Woods have made sacrifices during the pandemic.

As Peggy Woods prepared for self-isolation, she knew that for her family their challenges would be far greater than purchasing food and toilet paper. In early March, her husband George was diagnosed with cancer. Treatment was scheduled to start later in the month. 

Suspension of various transportation services to the VA facility compounded her family’s challenges as they did their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus.   

Woods, a Palm Bay resident and retired healthcare worker from New York, is very cognizant of the importance of social distancing. She practices with friends and family, including her son who lives in New York whom she barred from visiting for Easter. 

She and her husband, however, have had to make exceptions as they relied on others outside their home for transportation when necessary. 

Woods’ husband is a wounded Korean War veteran. A 20-year cancer survivor, a recurrence at age 90 was disconcerting. In light of the coronavirus crisis, the Woods family had to assess the risks versus benefits as to whether to delay her husband’s treatment or to proceed as scheduled.

Despite Woods’ emotional anguish, there are bright moments in her day. Video calls with her son and the kindness of neighbors, including Sandra Hamilton, have been a steadfast source of comfort. 

Woods effused with gratitude for Hamilton. 

"Sandra is unbelievably wonderful, caring, giving," Woods said. "She’s there for me. She cries for me. She cries with me."

 Hamilton said she is glad to provide rides for the Woods family.

"They are elderly and somebody needs to take them shopping and doctors’ appointments," Hamilton said. "They are good people. I do it from the kindness of my heart. They would do it for me."

Woods agreed.

"If we take care of each other, we’ll make it."