Gary Shirley is asking fans for support after his mother was diagnosed with coronavirus last week.
Gary, 33, has starred on Teen Mom and Teen Mom OG for more than 10 years. He first appeared on 16 & Pregnant with Amber Portwood, when she was pregnant with the couple’s daughter, Leah.
The pair has since separated and Gary is now married to Kristina (Anderson) Shirley, with whom he shares daughter Emilee.
The Shirleys have been taking quarantine very seriously
Gary made the announcement about his mother’s diagnosis on his Instagram page yesterday.
Gary said that the Shirley family has been very vigilant about social distancing because Emilee has an immune disorder. They’ve avoided contact with others, including contact with extended family.
“We haven’t hugged her in about 3 months,” Gary said of his mom, “and we haven’t had her over inside our home for about 3 months.”
Nevertheless, Gary’s mother, Carol Zizak, came down with COVID-19. Gary believes that she was likely exposed to the virus through her work at an assisted living facility.
Gary and Kristina are doing what they can to help, but it’s been difficult. They’ve been delivering food to Carol and her partner, Jody Patterson (who appeared on the show when he underwent a DNA test confirming that he is not Gary’s biological father), for several weeks, but they have had to cut back out of concern for Emilee.
To make matters worse, Jody is now showing symptoms of the illness. He hasn’t been tested, but Gary noted that he believes that Jody’s symptoms are caused by coronavirus.
Carol’s prognosis is uncertain
Fortunately, Carol has not needed to be hospitalized yet, but Gary noted that she is “very sick.” She has lost her appetite and sense of taste and has been trying to rest at home. Gary explained that this Mother’s Day was particularly difficult for his family since they had to deal with his mother’s illness and the family’s separation.
To try to brighten Jody and Carol’s Mother’s Day, Gary dropped off homemade brunch on their porch. He also gave Mother’s Day shoutouts to Carol and his wife, Kristina, on Instagram.
Fans sent the Shirley family their well-wishes through Instagram. “You’re a good dude, Gary,” wrote one user, “keep us posted on your mom and Jody.”
“Prayers for your mom,” said another fan, “I know it’s hard not being able to go help her.”
Teen Mom OG airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on MTV.