Octogenarian climbs into bucket truck to visit wife in nursing home during pandemic

WALTHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - An octogenarian went to great lengths to visit his wife who is living in a Waltham nursing home.

Maristhill Nursing & Rehabilitation Center had to close its doors to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak but 88-year-old Nick Avtges just had to see his wife Marion, so he hopped into a bucket and got a lift right up to her bedroom window.

Teetering three stories high, Avtges, wearing gloves and a mask, got as close as he could to his wife of 61 years.

“The greatest thrill of my life at this time… just being able to talk to her,” he said.

Nick and Marion used to spend every day together even after Marion moved into the facility — all that had to end three weeks ago due to the global health crisis.

“After 61 years together and being apart and not being able to see her and get close to her… that has a significant effect on me,” Nick said.

So that is when their son Chris stepped in and broached the idea of getting a bucket truck.

As a well-known baseball coach in town, Chris said Nick had plenty of friends and admirers ready to help.

“I felt like I had the means to get it done, and I didn’t think of all the little details like obviously, the guy running the place had to give us permission. All that stuff was secondary in my mind,” Peter Tzannos who organized the lift said.

Nick said he is grateful for the time he got to spend with Marion and said he already has some exciting plans for them when finally the lockdown is lifted — they’re taking a trip to Niagra Falls.

“I’ll be happy when they open the doors and I can rush in and give her a hug and a kiss, let’s put it that way,” he said.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)