First-time grandparents wait outside in hospital parking lot for arrival of grandchild

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WELDON SPRING HEIGHTS, Mo. – Delivery rooms have been on lockdown since the COVID-19 crisis began, but that did not stop first-time grandparents in the Bequette family from showing up and showing love while they waited for their grandchild to be born.

Brian Bequette and his wife have been sitting in the parking lot of Progress West Hospital since 8:00 a.m. this morning.

“With this kind of crazy pandemic we’re having right now,” said Tammy Laughman in Imaging Services at the hospital. “Unfortunately, we’re unable to have visitors in except for dad with the baby. So, these guys are awesome and just sitting outside, hanging out, keeping their social distance so they can be there when the baby is born.”

Once Progress West facility manager Ken Engle realized what the family was doing and why, he decided to make their wait a little more comfortable. He grabbed some lawn chairs and snacks from inside the hospital and brought them to the soon to be grandparents.

“That’s our job. Just to make sure you’re happy, satisfied, comfortable, safe, and secure,” Engle said.

Bequette and his wife would have loved to be in the room for the birth of their first grandchild, but given the circumstances, they knew they would have to make something work one way or another.

“We’ve been cooped up at home the past couple of weeks just trying to keep the curve down and try to come up with a creative way to celebrate having a baby so we decided we were going to have a tailgate party out in the parking lot,” he said.

His son and his wife, along with the nursing staff, would wave occasionally from the window to let them know they felt their presence even from afar. As excited as the Bequette’s are to become grandparents, they really appreciated the kindness that the Progress West employees showed them

“With everybody just being under stress because of everything going on it was nice that people still care,” Bequette said.

As they sit and wait to welcome their first grandchild into the world, they know this will be a memory that none of them will ever forget – including the baby.

Bequette laughed and said, “It will be something different. We can talk to our grandkid years later and give him grief. This is what we did for you, what are you going to do for us?”

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