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Thornton Place residents and staff receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine



TOPEKA, Kan. – 80 Thornton Place residents rolled up their sleeves Wednesday to receive their first dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

They celebrated the occasion with a special Dr. Seuss theme.

“Everyone is so excited to get it we’ve waited so long we just wanted to make it a party atmosphere because we’re stoked,” said General Manager Tabitha Petefish.

“We’re celebrating we’re getting our shots were well on our way to immunizations and hopefully able to open up more.”

She said the vaccine’s arrival brought a feeling of hope to the nursing home.

“I am super excited maybe we can open up a little bit more maybe we can get back to having some events get friends and family in this place is always been really happening and there’s always been something going on and we missed it so much we need the socialization.”

Lyle Florence said he is looking forward to a safer future.

“I wish we could get it over with, get back to normal near back where we were.”

The day took on a special meaning for Ruby and Rocky Zeller who both survived the virus.

“Rocky had a real bad cough it wasn’t a cough every so often it was continual cough almost and then the next day he started letting up and it got better each day, myself, I couldn’t taste anything everything was flat” Ruby explained.

“I’m glad we had it I don’t wanna say the easy way but the lesser way than what a lot of people had, we were very fortunate.”

They got vaccinated like they have done many things in their nearly 70 years of marriage…together.

“I’m more relaxed today than I have been I think it’s wonderful at all the companies put in the hours and got something sold I hope it works,” Rocky said.

After a year of visitation restrictions, they’re hoping their vaccination gives them a chance to show some love.

“We miss the grandkids hugging us, the great-grandkids the kids and everybody; we just don’t hug each other too much either while all this is going on we don’t take a chance,” Rocky explained. “Let’s hope everybody gets it and everybody comes out alright.”