Proud granddad stages pink parking lot visit to celebrate birth of first granddaughter
Savannah Fuller thought she was taking a routine walk down the hospital hallway the day after giving birth to her first child, Fallon.
She got a little suspicious when, as she approached the solarium window, she saw a beautiful pink bouquet of flowers. But even that didn’t prepare her for what she spotted outside the window, in the parking lot of Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
Too many pink balloons to count covering a white vehicle. A banner welcoming little Fallon Jane Rowan into the world spread across the windshield. And Savannah’s dad – draped in different shades of pink from his glasses to his jacket to his low-top Converse sneakers – sprawled across the hood of his decked-out-in-pink vehicle to support his daughter and welcome his new granddaughter into the world.
“I wanted to do something crazy for Savannah,” Ron Fuller said. “This is her first baby. I wanted to let her know Granddad is here. I decided to make a little scene. I’ll go down there and make a little scene, make a little noise.”
Visitor restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic weren’t going to stop Ron from celebrating the arrival of his first granddaughter and supporting his daughter during such a memorable, life-changing moment.
Ron, an entertainer in the Myrtle Beach area, channeled his flair into a quickly conceived, well-executed visit from the parking lot with the help of a Tidelands Health security guard and one of Savannah’s nurses, Sarah Wideman, who coordinated the bouquet, timing and, of course, that “routine” walk down the hospital hallway.
“It’s just hard, especially when you are having a new baby right now. Anything to help somebody out – as a nurse, that’s what I want to do. Just to make them have the best experience, especially during this time,” Sarah said.
The brief moment meant the world to Savannah, whose fiancée accompanied her in the hospital for the baby’s delivery. Fallon, weighing about 7 pounds, arrived Monday evening – about three weeks earlier than expected.
As little Fallon slept in the hospital room Tuesday, Savannah talked about all the emotions her dad’s surprise visit had stirred up.
“It was funny, and it meant a lot that he would go to that extreme,” she said.
While Savannah had the support of her fiancée by her side in the hospital, she longed for her parents and other loved ones. New moms are allowed one visitor during delivery under the hospital’s limited visitation policy, which aims to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It was bittersweet. My dad couldn’t be here, but he still made it to where he could be,” Savannah said.
The new mom had already sacrificed many of the other traditional joys of expecting because of today’s unusual times: She didn’t have a baby shower and stayed in her house to protect herself and the baby from any exposure to the coronavirus. She had numerous conversations with her midwife to make sure she was doing everything she should.
“She basically put the baby first,” Ron said. “Savannah is the most resilient child I could have ever asked for.”
Like many first-time moms, Savannah’s excitement is overpowering her nervousness. And Ron remains determined to celebrate this major life moment for his daughter any way he can – even if he has to create a new way to do it.
“The celebration will continue,” Ron said. “Sure, I would have loved to have been in there, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s an unfortunate thing we are all going through.
“At a time like this, we need to band together with a little fun and excitement. This was about doing something for Savannah. I want to be over the top for her.”