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Doctor reunites with kids after almost 90 days apart

Dr. MaryAnn Dakkak sent her children to stay with their grandparents in Roseville, to protect them from coronavirus.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A happy reunion finally happened Friday at Sacramento International Airport. Dr. MaryAnn Dakkak got to hug her 8 and 10-year-old children after almost 90 days apart.

Dr. Dakkak has been treating coronavirus patients for months. Like many healthcare professionals, she and her husband had to make tough decisions to keep their kids safe from exposure.

Dakkak grew up in Roseville and eventually became a doctor at Boston Medical Center, an area that saw huge COVID-19 numbers.

“I knew that I was going to be leading a COVID team starting, I think March 23rd,” Dakkak said. “So the week before, I knew it was going to happen and I looked to my husband, and it was around St. Patrick’s Day, and said maybe we should send the kids to California, and he said 'That’s a crazy idea.'"

They eventually made the tough decision and called her father in Roseville to ask him and her mother to look after the kids.

“I told him ‘You know I’m going to be doing primarily COVID work for the foreseeable future,’ and he said three words. He said, ‘send the kids,'" Dr. Dakkak said, “And I said, ‘Dad, it might be three to six months,’ and he said, ‘I don’t care.'"

The months since have not been easy. Dr. Dakkak has watched patients suffer from, and die from, COVID-19. Her husband’s parents also both tested positive.

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Now, after months apart, with coronavirus numbers down in her area and testing negative several times herself, the time was right for the family to come back together.

When asked how she was feeling after the reunion, Dr. Dakkak said, “I feel like, I love my job but I really love my kids, and it's really good to have my kids, and I want to be able to do both at the same time, and I'm going to balance it out next time and keep them with me.”

The entire family isn't back together just yet, the kids still have to reunite with their dad. They all fly back together to Boston on Wednesday.

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