A family in Bryan has to separate to keep 3-year-old safe during COVID-19

Posted at 6:50 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 19:51:15-04

BRYAN, TX — Imagine being a nurse or a first responder and fearing each day that your job could expose you and your family to COVID-19.

It’s a reality for one Bryan family who now has made the gut-wrenching decision to leave their child with trusted friends, so mom and dad can still serve their community.

Every video call between Devon and Ellie Oechsle always ends the same:

“I’d say you’re my favorite, and she’d say you’re my favorite," said Devon Oechsle.

The video calls have become the new normal. Devon is an ER nurse and recently learned while on the job, she was exposed to patients who tested positive for COVID-19.

Her husband is a first responder, and together, they decided for her own safety - little Ellie needed to go.

“Anita had texted me like a week or two ago, saying she was ready for Ellie duty and their house was ready for whenever the time came, completely unprompted, I didnt even ask. And so I was like.. ‘Um. I just read this. Thank you. How serious are you because today might be the day we have to send her over there,"said Devon Oechsle.

Meet Anita, a local gym owner who befriended the family while they used to workout and play at her gym.

“They have the hard part you know. They are out helping the sick people. They are having to go without her. So you know I get to stay at home and have fun and play,” said Anita Graziano.

While Ellie is safe at Anita’s house, Devon is getting used to an empty seat at the dining room table.

She says many moms and dads are doing the same.

“Im in a lot of ER Nurse facebook groups and everyone... like thousands.. Like it’s a healthcare problem. We are either having to send our family away or we are having to isolate ourselves away from our family,” said Devon Oeschle.