San Diego Woman Misses Birth of First Grandchild in China Due to Coronavirus

Rhonda Rogers' daughter and son-in-law live in China where travel to and from the U.S. has been canceled or restricted

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The coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak is keeping a Tierrasanta woman from seeing the birth of her first grandchild in China.

The viral outbreak is keeping two parts of a family thousands of miles away from each other at a time when they need each other the most.

The love between a mother and daughter knows no distance. Nothing is more true for Rhonda Rogers in Tierrasanta and her daughter Ashley Hatcher, a teacher in Beijing, China.

Rogers keeps updated with video chat and the YouTube channel Ashley and her husband Graham upload videos to. She was supposed to be in China for the birth of her first grandchild in May, even though her disability makes it challenging to travel. She was diagnosed with myositis 17 years ago, and has been dealing with the disease progressing ever since. The disease affects her muscles and makes it difficult for her to walk.

But things have changed.

“We had plan A. We had plan B. We didn’t coronavirus plans. I don’t think anybody else does either,” said Rogers.

In a panic, Hatcher was thinking about leaving and called her mom.

“Mom I want you to get me a first class plane ticket out of Beijing. Planes were still flying. Tomorrow,” Hatcher told her mother.

But risking exposure at the airport or during travel and leaving the pets at home with her husband wasn’t an option.

And that scenario would leave her husband out of the picture.

 “I wouldn’t be able to be there for the birth of our daughter,” he said over video chat.

Hatcher stayed and the couple is now in self-quarantine taking extra precautions.

“It’s been a couple days since I’ve been outside," she said.

For now, the family will have to continue their chats at the kitchen table via video chat.

“Take care of your family and my granddaughter who I hope I’ll get to see in person sometime,” said Rogers. “Someday coronavirus will be contained, gone. I am hoping I am still mobile and traveling. They will of course come and see me. That’s a given right? I’m the grandma.”

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