An ICU nurse was forced apart from her girlfriend for three months. So she made sure their reunion was unforgettable
When the coronavirus pandemic kept a nurse apart from her girlfriend for three months, she enlisted the help of her neighbours to make their reunion unforgettable.
Alyssa Kayhill is a musician who’s been working on the front lines as a cardiology nurse in Brooklyn Hospital Centre. She made the difficult decision to live apart from her partner of eight years, Anhlinh Trinh, to protect her from the virus.
The couple had never been separated for an extended period of time before, and Kayhill’s stressful shifts made their time apart even harder.
“I was so proud of the work she was doing, but it was heartbreaking not being able to comfort Alyssa in person,” Trinh told the New York Post.
“I think that time for everyone was just hard,” Kayhill added. “It was just a really heavy time in New York and across the world, but it was even harder because she wasn’t here.”
The tough time strengthened their love for each other, so when they finally reunited Kayhill decided the first thing she’d do was propose.
“I missed Linh so much,” she said. “Outside forces prevent you from doing certain things sometimes, but my experience on the job with COVID-19 showed me that life is so short.”
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She confided in her sister Kristie, and together they came up with ingenious idea for a Pride month proposal on June 8, Trinh’s birthday.
Kristie suggested the perfect spot — a riverside courtyard near her house where New Yorkers gather for the 7pm clap each night. She reached out to her building management, who helped round up residents from two of their buildings to join in.
They then roped in Trinh’s brother, who pretended to let slip that Kayhill had had returned to the city to surprise her for her birthday.
“She walked down to come meet me, thinking I was going to be surprised, but as soon as she got to me I just knelt down and proposed to her,” Kayhill said. “She was shocked, and it was just so wonderful.”
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The fairytale moment came together perfectly as Kayhill got down on one knee and the crowd around them erupted into cheers and applause — and of course, Trinh said yes.
“It was the first time we’ve seen each other, and it was so many people out on their balconies and outside clapping,” Kayhill told Insider.
“It’s just this really beautiful moment that couldn’t have gone better.”
Inscribed in Trinh’s engagement ring are the lyrics to a song Kayhill wrote for her about not being judged for who you love. It reads: “Love is what it will be.”