Kept From His Wife of 61 Years, This Man Beat the Coronavirus Shutdown With a Bucket

Nick Avtges arranged for a bucket crane to set up outside the Massachusetts rehab center where his wife lives

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For several hours each day, Nick Avtges spent time with his wife at her nursing home. 

Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing the home to shut down to visitors. 
But Avtges, 88, of Watertown, found a way to continue visiting his wife, with their son’s help.  

His friend arranged for a bucket crane to set up outside Maristhill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. 

“A friend of mine from high school — he was like, ‘I can do this for you.’ I was like, ‘Oh my! Okay! That’s crazy!’” Chris Avtges recalled. 

Residents in Woburn, Massachusetts, didn't let social distancing get in the way of celebrating a 102-year-old woman's birthday on Thursday.

That crane lifted Avtges up to his wife’s room, where the two talked through a window. 

“We touched each other through the screen,” he said. “Our fingertips touched.”
Avtges said he and his wife, Marion, 85, plan to take a vacation when the pandemic ends. 

“We’ve been married 61 years, and love [each other] today as much as we did when we first met,” he said. 

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