Family of Saints Legend Tom Dempsey Stressed As He Lives Among Those Infected With Coronavirus
New Orleans Saints legend Tom Dempsey is best known for his 63-yard game-winning field goal in 1970, propelling the Saints to an improbable 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions.
At the moment, it was the longest field goal in NFL history by 7 yards, was not equaled until 1998, and not surpassed until 2013 when Matt Prater made a 64-yarder for Detroit.
Following his football career, he resided in New Orleans with his wife and three children.
In late 2013, Dempsey revealed he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
At 73, Dempsey is currently a resident at the Lambeth House, a retirement community in Uptown New Orleans for both independent and assisted living.
Four of the six Louisiana deaths attributed to the COVID-19 virus have been residents of the Lambeth House.
To date, there has reportedly been a dozen positive cases of COVID-19 at the Lambeth House.
Non-essential visitors are not allowed in, leaving Dempsey's family unable to see him.
Ramon Antonio Vargas of The Times-Picayune spoke to Dempsey's daughter Ashley about the situation.
Ashley Dempsey said she, her mother and her siblings have long made sure one of them visits Tom daily — that they feed him at least one meal, rather than letting the facility staff do it. She said the entire clan treasures the routine. The next few weeks will be by far the longest time her father has gone without seeing his family.
“It’s just awful,” Ashley Dempsey said. “It’s really, really difficult.”
The plight of the Dempsey family is being felt by many others in the same situation, unable to see loved ones who are residing in a care facility doing all it can to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Tom Dempsey was inducted in the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in 1989 and has remained a lifelong supporter of the team.