In a recent article, The Seattle Times reported on how Fran Goldman, a 90-year-old Washington resident, walked “6 miles through nearly a foot of snow” to get to her first COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
“I have been calling to get an appointment anywhere, every morning, every afternoon and often I’ve been online at night,” Goldman said Sunday evening.
In addition to trying to contact the Washington State Department of Health, she also called local grocery stores and pharmacies.
“Nada. Nothing,” Goldman said. “Every day.”
Goldman reached out to family, who would “scour the internet to find something.” Still nothing, according to the elderly woman.
After getting in touch with Seattle Children’s Hospital, she was finally able to find an opening.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Goldman said. “I had to get my glasses to see if I was really seeing it.”
According to The Times:
She made an appointment for Sunday morning at 9:10, not knowing that there was a snowstorm headed this way.
On Saturday, Goldman awoke to several inches of snow on the ground, and knew she would have to plan ahead. So she dressed in layers, got out her walking sticks, and headed out with her phone, which told her it would be 3 miles each way.
Goldman, who got a new hip last year, stepped carefully down the steep driveway outside her condo building, and got onto the Burke-Gilman Trail, which already had tracks in it.
She got about two-thirds of the way to the hospital and turned around, confident she would be able to make it the next day.
And on Sunday morning at 8, she dressed in fleece pants and a short-sleeved shirt so that the nurse could get to her arm easily. Over that, a fleece zip-up, then a down coat, then a rain jacket. She yanked on her snow boots, grabbed her two walking sticks, and headed out.
“It was not easy going, it was challenging,” she said, adding that the tracks had frozen over and been covered with more snow.
But Goldman made it to her appointment just 5 minutes late, which was fine. Had she been early, she would have had to wait in her car — which wasn’t there.
Her daughter, Ruth Goldman, apparently wasn’t worried about her.
“We’re outside people,” she said. “We love being outside. I was out yesterday at Lake Ontario with a wind chill of 6 degrees.
“My mother isn’t going to let a little snow stop her from getting the vaccine. She was willing to walk however many miles there and back to get it. She is a really remarkable person who has the attitude of ‘You don’t let a little adversity get in your way.’
“She’s someone who looks for solutions, not problems.”
Upon returning home, the 90-year-old reportedly “started some laundry and heated up a can of soup.”
“I knew how far it was, I knew how long it would take me,” Goldman said. “Had it been shorter, I would have been happier. But I made it.”