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By: Nina Lozano, KSBY 6 News, March 9 2021

A Central Coast family celebrated their mother’s 80th birthday in person inside a nursing home facility on Monday.

Inside San Luis Post Acute Center in San Luis Obispo, Holly Lewis is singing a different tune. Her mother, Catherine Phillips, turned 80 surrounded by her family.

“Mom we love you we finally got to come inside. We’re here,” said Lewis.

The 80-year-old has dementia. Philips has been a resident at the San Luis Obispo facility for three years.

Back in June of 2020, KSBY first brought you the story of Lewis, who was using her musical talents to ask California Governor Gavin Newsom to allow visitors at nursing homes. Since September, Holly has been able to visit her mom in person off and on because of ever changing guidelines.

“This (Monday) will be the first time since before the pandemic that my dad and I or any two family members have been able to be in my mom’s room together at the same time,” says Lewis. Lewis and her father, Calvin Philipps, are both vaccinated and tested every week for COVID.

Even though Catherine’s other daughter and three granchildren were only able to celebrate her milestone birthday outside the nursing home window, Lewis says this visit means a lot to the family. “My mom hasn’t been doing too good and we don’t know if it is her last one.”

Regardless of what the future holds, the family is thankful to be able to celebrate together, hug Catherine in person and see her smile again.

Visitors at San Luis Post Acute Center are screened and tested for COVID before they’re allowed to go in. Catherine’s family says they’re thankful to the nursing home staff for having empathy and patience throughout the pandemic