Sun. Jul 14th, 2024
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BAILEY’S CROSSROADS, VA — On Thursday morning, Anne Stewart and Tony Tambasco rolled up their sleeves and received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time. That was a special moment for the couple, who celebrated their wedding just over four years ago in the same location.

Tambasco called it “sheer relief” to receive the vaccine. Stewart called it “miraculous.” They are among the first independent living residents at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, a senior living community. Vaccinations are beginning for the community’s independent living residents after assisted living and memory care residents, as well as some staff, received their first doses.

Their time for the vaccine came after nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States. Stewart and Tambasco had just returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand and were suddenly faced with an era of isolation from the outside world and finding ways to cope.

“I had a sense of security that Goodwin House was at least doing testing and tracing,” said Tambasco. The facility has managed positive coronavirus cases through testing, quarantine and isolation.

That has helped him focus on activities to deal with the isolation.

“Goodwin House gave us everything we’ve needed,” added Stewart. “We’ve had great food, nursing care if we need it, a beautiful apartment and still, for me, it’s been hard.”

A mother of four and grandmother of 10, Stewart said the most difficult part has been missing family. Luckily, she had Tony to spend time with, and both have spent plenty of time with Netflix and Zoom.

A Marriage Made at Goodwin House
Falls Church, VA
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Tambasco and Stewart hadn’t been together when they first moved into Goodwin House in 2010, but they had similar reasons for ending up there.

Tambasco was a Georgetown University professor at the time, and his wife needed caregiving. He found it hard to give consistent caregiving at home while he was working, and moving into Goodwin House provided his wife that care and improved her quality of life.

Stewart worked for Syracuse University when her Stewart’s husband moved into the nursing section at Goodwin House. She soon moved out of her home into an apartment at Goodwin House. Both of their spouses have since passed away.

Stewart and Tambasco got to know each other when they were tapped as co-chairs of gift fund for Goodwin House employees. Every year, that gift fund spearheads fundraising to provide gifts to the staff of around 400. After getting to know each other, they were ready to tie the knot a year later.

In 2016, they were married on New Year’s Eve and held a reception with their family at Goodwin House. Tambasco recalls they rang in the new year in Rio de Janeiro time — 9 p.m. local time — since attendees wouldn’t be able to stay up until midnight. Now they’re known as the couple who celebrates their anniversary on New Year’s Eve, and they hope a celebration can be held next time around.

By james vines

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