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Special Room Will Reunite Elderly Couple

January 17, 1986

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ An employees’ lounge will be turned into a private bedroom for an elderly married couple who had faced eviction from a nursing home because they insisted on sharing a bed.

Officials at Community Nursing Home told Gena Willis, 87, three weeks ago that he and his wife, Marie, 86, would have to leave. The couple, married more than 50 years, had insisted on sleeping together in a room Willis shared with three other men.

But Mendal Kemp of the state Health Care Commission said Thursday that the couple will be permitted to stay at the home and the employees’ lounge will be turned into a private room for them.

The home, which cares for impoverished patients, normally does not have private rooms.

″It sounds like a mighty good solution to me,″ said Nathaniel Johnson, the Willises’ son.

″We’ll get along fine without the break room,″ said Blanche Reed, director of nursing at the home.

Officials said the couple’s two single beds will be moved into their new room, but the nursing home has been offered double beds and one may be moved into their room.

″We’ll get them moved in as soon as we can, probably over the weekend,″ Dillie Myrick, the nursing home administrator, said Thursday.

Nurses said Willis called for his wife in the night, and she joined him in his bed. The home also said the couple violated Health Care Commission regulations by disrupting the health and safety of others.

The couple moved to the home after their doctor said they could not live at home in Raymond without attendants.

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