County native Elizabeth Basnight of Morehead City and Chapel Hill is reunited with her 2-year-old son Lawrence after she was stranded for three weeks in Peru due to the novel coronavirus and subsequent travel restrictions. (Cheryl Burke photo)

CORRECTION: This article was updated at 11:48 a.m. Friday, April 3, 2020, to correct the name in a cutline.

MOREHEAD CITY — When Carteret County native Elizabeth Basnight decided to travel March 12 to Peru on a surfing trip, she didn’t intend to end up stranded in the nation due to the novel coronavirus.

However, that’s exactly what happened. In addition, she was separated from her 2-year-old son, Lawrence, whom she left with her parents, Carol and Howard Basnight of Morehead City, to go on the trip.

After a long and frustrating three weeks of trying to get a flight home from Peru, which has been on lock down since March 15, the mother was reunited with her son Thursday afternoon after she and about 120 other Americans were flown out by the U.S. Embassy Wednesday.

She arrived in Washington, D.C., Wednesday night and arrived in New Bern Thursday afternoon. She then drove to her parents’ home in Morehead City.

While she had stayed in contact with her son via Facetime while she was abroad, nothing compared to seeing him in person when she arrived at her parents’ home.

“The whole drive from New Bern my heart was in my throat,” she said as she held her son. “It was so good to actually see his face. It was such a relief.”

Ms. Basnight said she will now self-quarantine for two weeks at her house in Chapel Hill. If all goes well, she plans to return to visit her parents once she is out of quarantine.

Ms. Basnight’s adventure began when her 10-day vacation was unexpectedly extended after President Donald Trump issued the national State of Emergency proclamation March 13, the day after she and her travel companion, Jeff Carver of Rodanthe, arrived in Peru.

Then, on March 15, the president of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, declared a state of emergency, shut down that nation’s borders and issued a strict 15-day quarantine measure that has since been extended. The measure meant all international flights were canceled, leaving more than 2,000 Americans stranded in the nation.

All residents were ordered into lock down, including Ms. Basnight and her Mr. Carver, who had been staying at Chicama Boutique Hotel in Puerto Malabrigo.

Ms. Basnight said she’s grateful to all those who helped in the effort to get her and other Americans home.

“I first want to put out a big thanks to my parents, who were wonderful parents to my son while I was away,” she said, adding she further thanked all of the congressmen and senators who stepped in to help, as well.

Ms. Basnight’s mother, Carol Basnight, said she was happy to see her daughter safely home.

“It has been a little bit challenging, but I’m just glad to see her home,” Carol Basnight said.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

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