North Texas hospitals loosening visitor restrictions, but some families still unable to see loved ones

As society begins to reopen, some North Texas hospitals have begun allowing visitors once again, on a limited basis.

But other hospitals continue to have a no visitor policy, which adds to the agony for patients fighting for their lives, and their families.

A North Texas man suffered a traumatic brain injury after a fall, but because of COVID-19 restrictions on visitors, his family was told they couldn't be there to hold his hand as he fights for his life.

“We just want one person to be able to hold my dad's hand so he's not alone,” Laura Weaver said.

Weaver's father, Larry Searcy, is a home inspector, who also volunteers in the Dominican Republic.

Back on May 21, the grandfather of eight fell from the roof of a home he was inspecting and became unresponsive.

He was rushed to Texas Health Presbyterian, where he has been in the ICU ever since.

“He has squeezed the nurses hand once, but that was five days ago, and since then, there has been no response,” Weaver said.

On that same day, Weaver's mother was able to visit him, but only for 30 minutes. And due to the COVID-19 visitor restrictions, she hasn't been allowed to see him since.

“We have done Zoom calls and tried to talk to him for a few moments, and they have been kind to let us do that. But as you know, as we're talking, it's not the same as being there,” Weaver said.

She believes being able to visit her father could potentially help him.

“My dad is a social man. He loves to be with people and he loves in this order: He loves Jesus, his family, Texas history, and bacon,” Weaver added.

Dr. Ahmad Raza is a psychiatrist with UT Southwestern.

While he understands why hospitals are being so careful in light of the pandemic, he said being restricted from visiting loved ones in critical condition carries its own risk.

“So the need for that close physical contact, being able to hold someone's hand, being able to look them in their eye, being able to touch them, to be able to hug them, you know, there is no substitute for that,” he explained.

While many hospitals are still not allowing any visitors, others, like Baylor Scott & White, have begun to allow one visitor per patient.

Weaver was even told Texas Health is planning to update its policy Monday, but she is concerned Monday could be too late.

“He would do anything for me. And so I have to do everything I can for him,” Weaver said.

FOX4 reached out to Texas Health resources about this case Friday morning,

A spokesman said that their policy does allow for one visitor for patients who are near end of life.

He added that if a situation is brought to their attention, they will re-evaluate it.

Weaver said her mom is being allowed to now visit her dad for two hours Friday evening.