Daughter of Michigan COVID-19 nursing home resident shares heartbreaking account: ‘We watched her fade’

Michigan native Jamie Nicholson watched as her mother Nancy Buist passed away through a nursing home window, and says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s should be held accountable.

Nicholson shared with “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday that her mother had struggled with Alzheimer’s for nearly 15 years and was kept primarily under the care of herself and her father.

Once her mother was placed into a care facility, Michigan’s coronavirus lockdown kept the family separated for 11 months with zero physical contact allowed.

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“When … we were told that we could not come in and see her, we watched her fade through the window,” she said. “On screens, tablets … Five days a week we were allowed to see her through those mediums but not touch her.”

Jamie Nicholson's mother Nancy Buist. (Courtesy: Jamie Nicholson)

Jamie Nicholson’s mother Nancy Buist. (Courtesy: Jamie Nicholson)

The quality of her mother’s care began declining, Nicholson said, as well as physical touch from caretakers, and she became unresponsive during the last two weeks of her life.

“No more smiles, no more laughing,” she said. “We barely saw the staff members in and out of her room. … She was completely dependent on other people for her care.”

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According to Michigan.gov, there have been more than 5,000 coronavirus nursing home deaths reported. Michigan GOP leaders are calling to investigate the governor’s April 15 order that banned nursing homes from turning away patients who were receiving COVID treatment from turning them away, if the facilities had enough personal protective equipment and could properly isolate the patients.

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State officials such as Republican Sen. Jim Runestad are drawing parallels to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing home nightmare.

Runestad, alongside seven other Republican senators, has requested both acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel launch a probe.

Fox News’ Houston Keene contributed to this report.

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