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A Special House Call: Homebound Patients Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

February 12, 2021

“This is superhero stuff we are doing,” said Bridget Kennedy, Clinical Team Manager for Hartford HealthCare at Home.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of the solution,” said colleague Kristen Murphy, Hartford HealthCare at Home’s Regional Director of Operations.

Murphy, Kennedy and the rest of their team had just finished preparing doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to distribute to Hartford HealthCare at Home’s homebound clients, starting with 92-year-old Manchester resident Edna Hennessey (pictured above with nurse Courtney Weyel).

The moment was captured on camera by a film crew for Japanese Television New York, who only moments earlier had arrived at HHC at Home’s Bloomfield office from Manhattan to document the rollout of the vaccine to patients who, because of health-related reasons, are unable to leave their homes to visit a vaccine clinic.

The Hartford HealthCare at Home team prepares the COVID-19 vaccine to be delivered homebound patients.

Hartford HealthCare at Home began providing the vaccine to all of the homebound patients they treat, as well as to their spouses, throughout the state on Jan. 12.  Currently, they provide shots to ten patients a day but expect that number to climb steadily as more vaccine becomes available.

“We are excited to be able to provide this service for our patients who are most vulnerable and at risk,” said Weyel, who would be giving the shot to Hennessy at her home.  “We want to make sure our homebound patients and everyone we care for are as safe as possible.”

Once the vaccines being administered that day were prepared and packed into Weyel’s cooler, it was time to hit the road for a very special house call.  Arriving in Manchester a little less than a half-hour later, Weyel and the television crew were welcomed into Hennessy’s home by her daughter, Eileen Beaulieu.

“This is so exciting, isn’t it Mom?” Beaulieu asked.

Sitting comfortably in the living room of the house she has lived in for the past 71 years, Hennessy smiled beneath her mask, nodded and rolled up her sleeve.

She has a family history with pandemics. Her father lost his first wife and his infant son to the Spanish flu, so the magnitude of the moment was certainly not lost on her or her daughter.

Both repeatedly thanked Weyel for the excellent care she and everyone from Hartford HealthCare at Home has given them, saying that this seemed like they were really “going above and beyond.”

As the cameras rolled, Weyel expertly administered the shot, applied a band aid and started Hennessy on her way back to “normal.”

“Didn’t even feel it,” Hennessey said.

When asked what she was looking forward to most when she was fully vaccinated, Hennessy glanced thoughtfully at the photos that adorned the mantle above her fireplace.

“Seeing my grandchildren and great-grandchildren in person again,” she said. “I can’t wait for that.”