PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - This week brings a huge sigh of relief for so many families who have waited months to see their sick loved ones, after Banner Health announced it's letting most in-patients now have one visitor a day at their Arizona hospitals. Almost all visits to Banner hospitals stopped in March due to the pandemic.
There will still be a lot of limitations and strict protocols visitors will have to follow, but for one Lake Havasu mom with a chronically ill son, this changes everything moving forward.
Twenty-six-year-old Cody Daniels has spent 1,000 days in the hospital over the last decade of his life after rupturing his small intestine and dealing with major problems ever since.
"I've been there by his side basically this whole time," said his mom Leslie Daniels. "It was unbelievable that I actually had to leave him. I didn't think it would be from that point on until today."
It was back in March when Banner Health stopped letting visitors into their hospitals because of COVID-19. Leslie stood outside Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix two months ago as Cody underwent life-saving surgery.
"Just worrisome that you could not see your loved one unless there was something really bad or they were in the end stages of life. That was the scary part," she said.
But now that's changing. Banner Health is allowing visitors once again at their hospitals but with strict rules in place. Most in-patients are allowed one visitor a day for up to three hours maximum. Visitors will have to go through a health screening and bring their own mask to wear the entire time they're inside the hospital.
While Cody has been back home for a few weeks, Leslie said it's inevitable he'll end up back in the hospital at some point soon. But now, she can be right next to him.
"Every minute of that three hours is going to be so greatly appreciated by these families," Leslie said. "I would definitely still go three hours away just to be with him for three hours a day."
Banner said the visits will be allowed from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and they ask visitors not to bring any gifts, flowers, or balloons for safety reasons.