Lonely husband, 78, sues nursing home for banning him from being near his wife, 80, during pandemic

AN ELDERLY and lonely man who sued for the right to be near his wife who’s been in a nursing home during the coronavirus pandemic has won his lawsuit.

Gary Hein, 78, was told earlier this year that he wasn’t allowed to touch or be near his wife, Ann Severine, 80, while they live in the same facility in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

According to KOAT-TV, Hein would visit Severine every day – multiple times per day – in her memory care unit before Covid struck the United States. 

But this spring, a health order in the state of New Mexico denied the loving couple the chance to see touch one another as a precaution because of Covid. 

Hein, who lives in the facility's independent living unit, joined a lawsuit in which he claimed that his constitutional rights were violated by not being allowed to be near his sweetheart.

The 78-year-old claimed that nursing home staff and employees who had been exposed to coronavirus were allowed to go near her – but he wasn’t, despite repeatedly being tested for Covid. 

KOAT reported on Thursday that a judge agreed and sided with Hein.

The state reportedly has three weeks to respond to the judge with the changes they’ll make that will allow Hein to see Severine. 

Hein told the local news outlet: “I know that if the tables were turned, she would be caring for me. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

“It is a loss. Her isolation, and my isolation run in parallel,” Hein said.

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