IU West nurse self-quarantined in family camper reunites with kids for Father’s Day
By Lindsay Doty
After more than a month in self quarantine, IU Health West Hospital nurse and emergency room manager Ryan McManaway reunited with his wife and two young children just in time for Father’s Day.
His kids, 4-year-old Kipton or “Kip” and 2-year-old Kinsley, nicknamed “Kins,” finally got to hug their daddy.
“It was super cute. Kinsley is very much a daddy’s girl, and I’m wrapped around her finger. She came running up right away and said, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,'” said McManaway. “Kip was excited, and he’s more independent.”
In late March, the family decided McManaway should self isolate since he was working at a hospital with COVID-19 patients.
“I knew I was around it. We were very busy at the hospital,” he said. “My concern was if I’m around it and then I transmit it to my wife and family.”
He was extra concerned because his mother-in-law was getting chemo treatments for lung cancer. He knew he couldn’t risk getting his wife sick while she was caring for her.
So, he stayed in the family camper parked in the driveway while his wife and kids remained inside.
Kip and Kins would wave from the window and FaceTime at night to share stories about their busy days.
“My kids are hands-on,” McManaway said. “They love to tinker and take things apart, and 2 and 4 are such high development ages. Not being there to see them when they have that first experience of whatever it may be was hard.”
During his time in the camper (he admits, it wasn’t exactly roughing it with a TV and full kitchen), his wife helped stock the garage fridge with meals.
“The same thing with laundry — I would put my dirty clothes in the garage and keep them in there so I didn’t go in the house and stuff,” he said.
Although he was busy working long hospital shifts, the hands-on dad missed his little ones. Even the short time away made him realize how much they change and grow.
“I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned is not taking the moment for granted,” said McManaway.
“It’s all the ‘Hey Daddy?’ Hey Daddy,’ Yeah, it can be annoying. You’ve already answered them, but it’s all those little things you miss. It’s all those little hugs and kisses. It’s eye opening how much joy they bring.”
The McManaways stayed healthy, and now that dad has emerged from the camper, the outdoorsy family is looking forward to spending time in the camper together, beyond their driveway.
Ryan McManaway greets his children Kip and Kins from the window while in self-quarantine during COVID-19. (Photo provided by McManaway)