Anthony Bookert thanked the nurse who reunited him with his mom during National Nurses Week, which takes place May 6 to 12

By Rachel DeSantis
May 11, 2020 02:52 PM

A grateful son is thanking his mother’s nurse during National Nurses Week after she helped bring the pair together for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Anthony Bookert lost touch with his mother Gail 17 years ago — and thanks to the determination of nurse Susan Franco, they’ve since reconnected, he told CBS News.

Franco, who works at Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, met Gail when she was checked into Chippenham amid her battle with dementia.

She reportedly lived in a group home and had been in and out of the hospital, and staffers believed she had no family for them to contact regarding her condition.

Franco, however, made it her mission to track down Gail’s relatives – and after poring over her files, she managed to find contact information for one of Gail’s four children, CBS reported.

That child was Bookert, who told the outlet he was “astonished” to receive a call in late April about his mother, whom he had not seen since 2003.

“When she called me, I was just happy to find out she was alive, honestly,” he said. “It’s a blessing. And I’m so thankful for Ms. Susan Franco. I truly feel in my heart God works in mysterious ways. Not our timing, but his timing, you know what I mean? For her to give me that call, it’s overwhelming. It all happened the way it happened. Man, it touched me. It really touched me.”

Franco, meanwhile, said that it was all part of the job, though Bookert insists she went “over and beyond” the call of duty to help reunite a family.

“I’m just so glad I could be a part of that,” Franco told CBS.

Bookert has not yet been able to see Gail in person due to coronavirus restrictions, but he’s spoken to her on the phone and has been bringing items to her at the hospital, where Franco comes outside to receive them.

He and his family are reportedly looking into finding a long-term care facility for Gail, and also hope to visit her once restrictions are lifted.

“It made me feel good inside,” he said. “I got my mom now … I just want to thank everyone, all the nurses out there, who are doing what they’re doing with their job, and going out and beyond what they do to help people.”