Franklin family wants relative out of cruise quarantine

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 17:10:03-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Franklin family is hoping to get their elderly relative home after she was quarantined on a cruise ship near the coast of California.

"It's just not right," Karyn Fuller said while starting to cry.

Karyn Fuller's 83-year-old mother in law, LaVina Fuller, boarded a Grand Princess cruise ship last month headed to Hawaii. Shortly after, a man who had previously been a passenger on that same boat died from COVID-19. As of Saturday, 21 people on board have been diagnosed with the virus and LaVina is stuck in quarantine.

"They're scared, the cruise line isn't communicating, they're hearing things on the TV before the ship communicates the same information," Karyn Fuller said. She added that it's especially scary because LaVina Fuller suffers from heart disease.

"My mother-in-law has congestive heart failure, vascular dementia, she's got a mechanical heart valve," Karyn Fuller said. The heart conditions would leave LaVina Fuller at a higher risk if she contracts COVID-19.

"If she actually contracts the virus and then has more shortness of breath, fever, all the other symptoms, shes at a very high risk," LaVina Fuller said. "If they wait for her to develop symptoms, we have lost a massive amount of really critical time."

Over the last few days, the family has been on the phone with lawmakers, cruise officials and state leaders in California.

"I made probably ten calls in a matter of ten hours and just kept calling them back," Karyn Fuller said.

Initially, there was a concern whether the 83-year-old would have access to her life-saving medicine. She boarded the ship with only enough to get her through Saturday. On Saturday, she was given three more days-worth of her medication.

"We would like to see her and the rest of the family off the ship," Karyn Fuller said.