Livonia family granted exemption to visit dying daughter in Canadian hospice

The US-Canadian border has been closed for almost seven months and the closed border has meant many people have been unable to visit terminally ill patients on the other side of the international boundary.

In early September, we met Marilyn and Norman Hodgkiss who have been fighting to visit their adult daughter before it's too late. Diane Costello, 53, is in hospice care for colorectal cancer.

The Hodgkiss family was prevented by Canadian law from crossing the border which was closed in March due to the coronavirus and has been extended very month since.

" I'd just like to be able to physically be with her. Just a couple hours," Marilyn said in early September.

After our story with the Livonia family aired, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) picked up our story. 

They were hoping for a small miracle. Then it happened - they got a special exception from the Canadian government allowing them to visit their daughter.

"I cried and cried and cried I was so happy," Marily said.

The exemption giving by the Canadian government, allowing Marilyn and Norman to visit the daughter.    

"The smile stayed on her face for the longest time," Marilyn said.

Although there is no expiration for the exemption, they were able to spend a week with her. They could only be at hospice and to their granddaughter's house, and they had to wear masks. But that was enough.

"Under the circumstances it's sad. It's really sad," Marilyn and Norman both said.

Marilyn got choked up describing her daughter's condition, leaving it to her granddaughter, Shayla.

"She's joking around when she can. She's still laughing. We're trying to keep the conversation light and just enjoying the time we have left," Shayla said.

After our conversation, they made a quick trip to hospice for what could be the last time. Then they came back to Livonia.

"They are trying to get advocate groups, for compassion for people in this situation like us- from both sides. It's not just us coming here, it's them going to the states too," Norman and Marilyn said.