Birthday surprise for 80-year-old retired London, Ont., fire captain amid coronavirus pandemic

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Home and some family members went the extra mile to surprise one resident for his 80th birthday.

On Sunday, retired fire captain William Switzer celebrated the milestone with a surprise birthday drive-by with all of his family and members of the London Fire Department.

Sarah Eisenbraun, general manager at Chartwell, organized the event with some of Switzer’s family.

“This is so special. I never expected this,” Switzer said.

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“I don’t know what to say. I loved all of the guys I worked with and all of the people that are working so hard to keep us safe.”

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Overlooking the show of love from his balcony, Switzer waved down at the crowd bellow of family members holding up signs and singing happy birthday.

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Switzer told 980 CFPL the best part of the day was getting to see his great-grandson, Trevor, through the window.

4:43 Celebrating from home amid the pandemic

Celebrating from home amid the pandemic

“You miss them, especially the grandkids. You would like to go outside and with them, and you can’t, so it’s really tough,” Switzer said.

Granddaughter Sarah Naujokaitis said it was wonderful getting to see her grandpa so happy.

“It’s been tough social distancing, but we have tried our best to keep him safe.”

She said the family is thankful to the staff for taking care of him during this time.

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