Elgin Fire Department hoists family outside grandmother's hospital window

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ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A team of firefighters went above and beyond to lift the spirits of a patient at a suburban rehabilitation hospital.

The only way for patients to visit with family members at that facility is to do so through a window, which makes Mary Moore's third-floor room a big hurdle.

Enter the Elgin Fire Department with a solution: a ladder truck to bring them to the window.

"We love Grandma, she's also a sister," said her granddaughter, Sarah Hernandez. "She's everything to the family."

"We're just hoping, you know, with all the love around her, that she can feel that," said her daughter, Mickey Isunza.

Moore has been suffering from serious respiratory illness and transferred to the Avondale Estates facility this week. She's the matriarch of a large, tightly-knit family.

Concerned relatives flew in from around the country to see her, except they weren't really going to be able to see much looking up from the parking lot. When Elgin's fire chief heard about it, he offered the solution.

"It's not something we can do every day, take another ladder truck out of service," Elgin Fire Chief Robb Cagann said. "But the circumstances around this particular situation gave us the opportunity to do it and we thought it warranted our ability to do that."

The family kept the visit a secret, waiting to just appear in front of her window Thursday afternoon - and the reaction was worth it.

"She cried. She's like, 'Man, you're gonna to make me cry,'" said Dani Dierens, her granddaughter, as she teared up herself. "She means a lot to us."

"One of the biggest challenges we've had since the lockdown and no visitation within the facility has been that our guests don't have the ability to visit with their loved ones," said Erez Baver, owner of Avondale Estates.

While her family was only here to visit Mary Moore, administrators said everybody in the facility got a boost at a time when many may need it the most.
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