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COVID-19 vaccine gives doctor hope of returning home to family after nine months apart

Being a doctor who is around COVID-positive patients every day, Dr. Franklin Lin chose to live alone away from his family to keep them safe from the virus.

ATLANTA — For WellStar neurosurgeon Dr. Franklin Lin, hope was captured in a picture of him, moments after he got the COVID-19 vaccine Friday. Because, for him, this marks the end of a long 9-month stretch for his family.

“In the summer and springtime, I would interact with them more regularly because I would go to the backyard and the porch and we would do things outdoors. That was fun. I regularly interact with them the same way I’m interacting with you, on Zoom,” said Dr. Lin.

Since March, that’s how Lin’s been interacting with his wife and two children.

Being a doctor and around COVID-positive patients every day, he chose to live alone away from his family to keep them safe from the virus - a hard decision he had to make.

“This was specific and the best thing for our family and I understand it’s not for everybody nor does everybody have the ability nor means to do it but it was right for us,” he said.

Lin said that even though they made the decision as a family, it was still difficult at times.

The day he was leaving, his son was sad. And, even happy times like birthday parties this year were separated by a fence.

“We explained it to them, very matter of fact, like, ‘Look. There’s something going on. We don’t want you to get sick and we don’t want to get other people sick so this is what we’re going to do to help each other and help other people. They took it in stride,” said Dr. Lin.

Taking those strides in the last nine months led them to this past Friday when Lin’s family watched him get the vaccine over FaceTime. The tears from his wife showed this is the hope they’ve been waiting for.

Lin said he’s expecting to get the second dose of the vaccine on Jan. 8 and hopefully head home shortly after that.

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