Like most of us, Evelyn Shaw has lost out on a lot of family time over the past year, and she's eager to give her loved ones some long-awaited hugs. But even after she was officially vaccinated, the senior citizen couldn't help but feel a bit nervous about setting up family reunions inside her apartment.
Luckily, Shaw's doctor was happy to prescribe just what the New York resident needed: reassurance that it was ok to spend time with her loved ones, including her beloved granddaughter.
Earlier this week, Ateret Frank surprised her grandmother with a visit and a very special prescription from her doctor that read "You are allowed to hug your granddaughter." The 23-year-old had received her second dose of the vaccine a few weeks ago and the idea came about while she was talking with her doctor (who also happens to be Shaw's physician) during a recent appointment.
"My grandmother has been very nervous the whole time and our doctor knew," Frank told TODAY over the phone.
Understanding that Shaw was worried about seeing loved ones in person again, her doctor told Frank that she was going to write her a prescription giving her the permission to let her guard down.
After waiting the necessary two weeks for her second dose to fully kick in, Frank showed up to her grandmother's house this week with her mother Laura Shaw Frank and handed over the very special piece of paper.
"She read it, laughed, and started hugging me," she said. "It was so incredible."
The hug was a long time coming for the happy pair, who hadn't shared a hug since December 2019 since Frank was attending college 4.5 hours away from her home in New York.
After filming the sweet moment, Shaw Frank sent the video to her sister, SiriusXM EW Live host Jessica Shaw, who couldn't help but share it with her Twitter followers.
"For the past year, we've all been fantasizing about what that moment is going to be like when we can actually hug someone we love again," Shaw told TODAY over the phone. "To see someone get to live that dream is very special."
The host explained that her mother, who is widowed, lives alone, which made the past year particularly difficult.
"In many ways my family is blessed because my mom and none of my siblings got sick but it was really hard for her," she said.
Shaw Frank echoed her sister's sentiments and explained that the family was used to spending loads of time together pre-pandemic.
"It's been such a hard year to watch my mom be only a mile away and not be able to truly, fully be with her," she said.
"Of course we talk to her all the time and we would Zoom with her and we'd text but we feel like we're tentatively entering a new time and space now and it feels like there's a little bit of joy and there's some hope for a better future around the corner and that feels really special."
Now that she's reunited with her grandmother, Frank is grateful that she waited to do it safely and hopes others get their special moment soon, too.
"It is extremely worth the wait. It's so much better to wait and do it right and do it safely than to take a risk," she said.