Stranger visits coronavirus patient at epicenter of outbreak

KIRKLAND, Wash. — Susan Hailey, 76, had an unexpected visitor Friday, according to her daughters.

Hailey, who tested positive for coronavrius, was at Life Care Center of Kirkland recovering from a knee injury and then fell and broke her ankle.

On Friday, a church volunteer delivering food decided to put on a mask and walk to Hailey’s room to pray with her and hug her.

The woman had seen the patient’s daughters checking on her through the window and decided to walk in.

Carmen Gray could not believe it. She and her sister, Bridget Parkhill, have been to the nursing home every day since the outbreak. They've been checking on their mom through the window and over the phone.

They say the stranger approached them afterwards to tell them what she'd done.

Oh, she was all excited. 'I hugged your mom, I saw Susan, we hugged, I prayed'" Gray said. "She went in and was hugging her, someone who's positive, then she comes out and goes into the community, bragging about how she was in there."

Bridget Parkhill can’t understand why no one stopped her at the front door.

"I was horrified they don't have someone at the door. Just to have somebody there to make sure they're putting on the right PPE ( personal protective equipment) if they're going in," Parkhill said.

Of the 43 coronavirus deaths in King County, 29 were patients at Life Care Center of Kirkland. The nursing home held 120 patients, and nearly a quarter of them died.

We wanted Life Care’s response to a stranger getting inside.

"I've heard that report but I haven't been able to verify it yet. Again, there are not locks on our doors. We are denying visitors but we still haven't put locks on our doors. It's not within our realm of authority to do that," explained Tim Killian, the spokesperson for Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Since the incident, Gray and Parkhill say security is now asking visitors why they are there and checking IDs for employees.

Life Care says it will look into the incident.

On Monday, Killian expressed concern about running out of masks and gowns needed to care for the patients. There are still 43 patients at the nursing home, and 30 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

"We are starting to have a real concern about the availability of personal protective equipment," Killian said. "Our suppliers tell us we're within potentially two weeks of not being able to receive new supplies from them."

Killian said Life Care is asking the state and the federal government for help.