TAMPA, Fla. - COVID-19 changed the world and turned many families upside down. That includes Robin Rothman, who was separated from her daughter living in Australia for three years due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"So then Australia decided to lockdown for about two and a half years," Robin said. "We had a hope of them coming back about a year ago. But then as you know, the variant started to spin up and then what happened? They stayed locked down."
During that time, Robin said her grandfather died of COVID-19, and then she landed in the hospital with a serious illness.
"The doctor came to me and said, you know, it looks like you should be getting your affairs in order. And I'm thinking, this can't be where this ends," Robin said.
She fought through it waiting to see her daughter again and that finally happened Tuesday at Tampa International Airport.
"I'm like so excited right now. I can't. I can't. It's almost like it's surreal," Robin said.
Erika Rothman and her now husband arrived after two days of traveling.
"It feels really nice to be back with family after COVID," Erika said. "It's really been a hard few years, but I'm feeling really good right now."
Even though her wedding day didn’t happen as planned with family by her side and coping with the isolation COVID brought, she’s returned with a new perspective.
"I think it's really important to, like, treasure your family, and the people that are around you because you don't know what tomorrow's to bring," Erika said.
The couple will be in town for about a month and the family said it’s planned daily activities to make up for the lost time.