Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

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Sweet moment husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife of 61 years at her third story nursing home window after being separated for more than a month by the coronavirus outbreak

  • Nick Avtges, 88, used a bucket truck to visit his wife of 61 years, Marion
  • Couple have been separated for one month due to the coronavirus outbreak
  • They usually spent each day together at Marion's nursing home near Watertown, Massachusetts
  • Chris Avtges, the couple's son, and a longtime friend decided to reunite the pair
  • Local tree service volunteered a bucket truck to lift Nick to Marion's window 
  • Nick traveled three stories and brought Marion a note that read 'I love you, sweetheart' 
  • Massachusetts has 25,475 confirmed cases and a death toll of 756
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

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A Massachusetts husband used a bucket truck to visit his wife of 61 years at her nursing home after the couple was separated for more than a month during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Nick Avtges, 88, of Watertown, and his wife Marion, 85,  have been married more than six decades after they wed around 1960. 

'It was love at first sight. And the rest is history,' Nick told WTRF

His daughter, Suzanne, agreed and said: 'My parents have been the rock of our family. The way they've dealt with a lot of different situations.' 

Nick Avtges (pictured) was lifted to the window of Marion's nursing home 

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

Pictured: Marion Avtges (left) and Nick Avtges (right) have been married for 61 years in Waterfront, Massachusetts 

The couple, who had four children, saw each other every despite Marion living in a local nursing home, but the COVID-19 pandemic unexpectedly pulled them apart. 

'I was generally there every day from about 10-11 o'clock in the morning until 7 at night,' Nick said.     

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks.

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

But it can cause more severe illness in some people, especially older adults and people with health conditions. 

It had been one around month since the sweet couple had been together, prompting their son, Chris Avtges, and his lifelong friend, Peter Tzannos, to mastermind a plan.

Zanos said: 'I knew I could help here. I just needed a few minutes to figure out a plan.' 

With the help of Ryan Donnellan Tree Service, the two men secured a bucket truck and parked it outside the Maristhill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

Nick (pictured) explained that he usually visits Marion at her nursing home each day, but the coronavirus outbreak suddenly separated them 

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

Nick (pictured) wore a New England Patriots face mask and brought a handwritten note that read, 'I love you, sweetheart'

That's when they placed Nick - armed with a New England Patriots face mask - inside the bucket truck crane and lifted him three stories to Marion's window. 

As Nick saw his wife again, he held a handwritten sign that read, 'I love you, sweetheart.' 

'When he got up top there, they kind of put their hands on the screen of the window. At that point, I teared up,' Chris said, 

Meanwhile, Nick and Marion were finally face-to-face again. 

Nick said: 'When I got up there, she said, "It's dangerous.

Get back down again".

I asked... "How much do you love me?" She said, 'More than you know.' 

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

When asked to describe the first time he met Marion (center), Nick (right) said 'It was love at first sight'

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

Pictured: Marion Avtges (left) and Nick Avtges (right) celebrating with loved ones on their wedding day

As of Monday, Massachusetts has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. 

There are 25,475 confirmed cases and a death toll of 756.  

Massachusetts, as well as Alabama, began giving the addresses of people diagnosed with COVID-19 to local law enforcement. 

Each day, daily lists are sent over to police forces and ambulance crews across the state.

The information is supposed to be given to officers when they go out on calls. 

The state said that no information will be kept about who was known to be sick once the crisis is over.  

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

Two employees at the Soldiers' Home (pictured) in Massachusetts, where at least 18 residents have died after contracting the coronavirus, are still working out of fear for their job despite testing for positive for the virus

Husband, 88, uses bucket truck to visit his wife at her nursing home window

At the same time, federal authorities launched an investigation into the conditions at a Massachusetts veterans home where at least 18 residents have died from coronavirus after it emerged that infected employees were still showing up to work. 

The Department of Justice announced on Friday that it would be investigating the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke to determine if the facility was providing adequate care for its residents amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

It comes after two employees who tested positive for coronavirus were still showing up for work out of fear of losing their jobs.

The federal investigation is separate from a state investigation that is currently underway.

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