The spread of the novel coronavirus brought most hospital visitations to a halt, leaving many patients alone at a time when family is needed most, but one Riverside man is not letting that stop him from seeing his wife.
"I went home and changed my pants," John Plocher says on his way to see his wife. "I’ve got fresh jeans on, too."
It may be a short visit but one Plocher knows is worth his drive from Riverside to the city of Orange.
"She’s been in the hospital for about two months, on and off, and up until this point, I could sleep in her room," Plocher says.
Plocher’s wife, Leisa, is undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia at UCI Medical Center. but because of coronavirus restrictions, it’s a fight she’s now battling with no one by her side.
"I can’t see her," Plocher says. "I can’t come in. I even tried to bribe the people to let me in, but they wouldn’t..."
Plocher continues, "I was willing to do just about anything to brighten her day."
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
And when Plocher plots to do something, the grandfather of 16 and 30-year husband of 30 years delivers.
"Thought maybe I can brightened her day by jumping up and down on the freeway," Plocher says.
And so, there he was on the side of the 5 Freeway holding up a sign that read, "I am here for you."
On this visit, with fresh jeans on, Plocher holds up his sign for the day: "I love you." And on the top floor, his wife uses a small light to sign her love back.
Plocher says he will continue his visits several times a week.
"She’s what makes me happy in life," he says.
Plocher adds, "Family is everything to us. This is for her. This is all about her."