93-year-old woman reunites with daughter thanks to hug curtain designed by local businessman

Local businessman Bruno Zani produced the hug curtain by which Dirce Villas Boas and her daughter Dircyree were able to embrace again.
Dircyree Villas Boas hugs her mother Dirce Villas Boas, 93, through a plastic curtain at the 3i Bem-Estar - Residencial Senior nursing home.(Reuters)
Dircyree Villas Boas hugs her mother Dirce Villas Boas, 93, through a plastic curtain at the 3i Bem-Estar - Residencial Senior nursing home.(Reuters)
Published on Jun 04, 2020 11:35 AM IST
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SAO PAULO | ByReuters | Posted by: Srimoyee Chowdhury

Dirce Villas Boas, a 93-year-old resident of a nursing home in western Sao Paulo, had gone 70 days without seeing her daughter until this weekend, when the pair hugged and danced together in an emotional reunion.

The new coronavirus pandemic has yet to reach its peak in Sao Paulo, the site of the worst outbreak in Brazil, where nearly 30,000 people have lost their lives to the virus.

But thanks to the ingenuity of local businessman Bruno Zani, Villas Boas and her daughter Dircyree were able to embrace again. The two were separated by a translucent plastic curtain outfitted with holes for Dircyree’s arms, which were also wrapped in protective equipment.

Dircyree Villas Boas waves to her mother Dirce Villas Boas, 93, through a plastic curtain at the 3i Bem-Estar - Residencial Senior nursing home. (Reuters)
Dircyree Villas Boas waves to her mother Dirce Villas Boas, 93, through a plastic curtain at the 3i Bem-Estar - Residencial Senior nursing home. (Reuters)

The pair did not seem to mind.

“When you think about the feeling of a mother hugging her daughter, the heart beats, it really beats,” said Dirce.

Zani, who produced the curtain, makes a living in the party-decoration business, which has all but ceased in the pandemic. He typically donates flowers from the parties to nursing homes, where he noticed residents now have few chances to see family.

After talking with psychologists, therapists and other specialists, Zani tried a pilot program with the plastic curtain at one nursing home, and he plans to offer them in nursing homes throughout the city.

“The starting point was the heart itself,” Zani said, “seeing that difficulty of a family member and a confined (loved one) not being able to meet.”

Also read | Girl designs hug-curtain for grandparents, clip will leave you teary-eyed with happiness

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021