Granddaughters remember their ‘Papa’ who died of the virus while living at nursing home


"He was like a father to me..." said Spry

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A family in mourning, after losing a loved one to COVID-19 while living at a nursing home in Siloam springs. His granddaughters said they are heartbroken by the loss.

“He was like a father to me. When the nursing home was not on lock-down, I would be there 2 – 3 times a week,” said Crissa Spry.

He was known as ‘Papa’ to his granddaughters Crissa and Candice Spry. The girls said he died from the virus, Tuesday.

“It really hurts my heart because my grandma would cut his hair and she passed away 14 months ago. When she passed away, she passed that torch on to me,” said Candice.

John Pike has been at the Siloam Springs Nursing and Rehab for about 4 years and because of COVID-19 cases at the facility, Candice was not able to give him that haircut.

According to the nursing homes report by the department of health, as of September 22, the facility has 2 positive residents and 5 staff members who have recovered.

The Sprys’ feel like the outbreak is much worse.

“If they have family members out there, then they need to know what is going on there. So that if they can get them out, then they can get them out… rather than them suffering and being depressed in a room, isolated that’s just not right,” said Candice.

“He didn’t know why we hadn’t been seeing him. I felt like he thought we just abandoned him,” said Crissy.

We reached out to the Arkansas Health Care Association which overseas long-term care facilities in the state and have not heard back.

The girls’ last visit was back in July but more cases closed the facility to visitation.

“They had us visit through glass and everything. We were the first few people to see their family members. We brought him some Dr. Pepper and cookies,” said Candice.

Now the Sprys’ are left with just his memories.

“I wanted to do his hair… I don’t know. I would have brought him a milkshake… for sure,” said Candice.

“I would just thank him for everything he’s done for me and tell him how much I love him. He meant the world to me… him and my grandma both,” said Crissa.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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