JOPLIN, Mo. – Pandemic restrictions at Mercy Hospital mean no crowded gatherings for special occasions, and that can be tough when a baby is due.
“We’ve unfortunately had to restrict our visitors to labor and delivery which is very trying for our grandparents,” said Mercy Director of Women’s and Children’s Services Kathy Schoech.
But Monica Onstot was determined to be there for her sister’s big day, and with Mercy’s blessing she decided to throw a tailgate party in celebration of her new nephew.
“I kind of sent it to my family as a joke, not really thinking we would follow through on it at first, and then everyone seemed to like the idea,” said Monica.
And while this hospital parking lot tailgate party didn’t feature beer and brats, it did feature a very happy new aunt and some ecstatic brand new grandparents.
Celebrating a child’s birth may traditionally be a family affair, but hospital staff says this unique family gathering was responsible for a lot of afternoon smiles at Mercy.
“With all the stress of COVID and the sadness that goes on, this has been a really bright part to everyone’s day today,” said Schoech.
Schoech also said Mercy is planning on designating a special part of the parking lot as a tailgate zone in the near future.