Amherst couple celebrates 59th anniversary with COVID vaccination at home

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AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Paul Klonowski and his wife Laurie were at wits end. They are grandparents, but the Klonowski’s have been isolated for more than a year because Paul could not leave the house to get vaccinated.

When numerous calls to Erie County’s program to get a home visit fell through, they Called 4 Action.

Paul Klonowski can barely stand, much less leave home to get his covid shots, because of multiple medical conditions.

“This is important to me because I would like to stay alive and I would to see people that can come in here,” Paul said.

He and his wife Laurie, they were on the verge of desperation.

“He is the love of my life. I hate to see him suffering through all this,” Laurie said.

The Amherst couple tried and tried to get a home visit through Erie County’s new “Vax Visit” program without success, so News 4 gave it a try.

The next day a nursing professional showed up with a dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.. and the Klonowski’s waiting was over.

“It was a great day to finally get the shot after all this time. I feel so much better. It is a relief. It is. A blessing.”

The Klonowski’s said the nurse manager, from one of the healthcare agencies approved by the county, told them he suspects there are many more folks unable to leave home who could benefit from the “Vax Visit” program.

“And he was like, ‘Oh this is great. I hope it is going to bring the people to call that have not been vaccinated,” that meet the situation like Paul has,” Laurie said.

Now the Klonowski’s children and grandchildren can visit in person in stead of on a video screen.. and so can Paul’s two woodcarving buddies.

“The one has not been able to come over because of his heart because he can’t wear a mask. Now in two weeks he will be able to come over and we can do it maskless,” Paul said.

This is the Klonowski’s 59th wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate.

Erie County’s Vax Visit program is now open to anyone in the county 16 years old and older just call 716-858-2929.

Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.

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