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Daughter plays trumpet on street as father quarantined above

Trumpeting her love

Garry Monckton can’t see his daughter from his third-floor apartment window in Vancouver's Haro Park Centre, but he can sure hear her on the street below.

Monckton, 78, is blind. The former physiotherapist also has dementia.

And just a few days ago, he tested positive for COVID-19, one of 28 residents in the West End long-term care home to be infected with the disease.

Another 27 staff have also contracted the virus. One resident has died.

For the last couple of days, Monckton’s daughter Samantha has stood on a quiet stretch of Bute Street to belt out a few tunes on her trumpet she remembers from her high school days, to cheer up her father. 

On Wednesday morning, her repertoire included sentimental standards such as “Blue Moon,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “By the Light of the Silvery Moon.”

Samantha can’t visit her father because he’s in isolation, but phones him daily.

The trumpet playing, she said, gives her another connection, even if her father doesn’t fully comprehend the gesture, or understand the extraordinary times he’s living in.

“He’s familiar with that sound,” said Samantha, noting the pair used to sing “By the lLght of the Silvery Moon” together during their days in Ontario. 

“I was no Doris Day, but it was definitely something that he remembers singing to me, so I wanted to bring that song to him," she said.

Her father never appeared at his window during the Courier’s visit. But his masked health care worker did, giving a big wave to Samantha and others looking up from the street.

As she played on, more residents came to their windows and some to their balconies. "Very nice!" yelled down resident Margaret Holtz.



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