Man donates iPads to help elderly stay connected with family

John Lynch donating iPads to a healthcare centre. Image Source: CBS News

Nowadays, most hospitals and healthcare centres are limiting visitors into their premises to help stop COVID-19 from proliferating. And while this is a good move to curb the spread of the coronavirus, it has also brought about much anxiety for the patients and their families. Many patients feel isolated and disturbed because of not being able to communicate with their families.

John Lynch, from Wildwood Crest in New Jersey, is very aware of how difficult these times might be for such families. His father Hugh Lynch was suffering from dementia and was in a memory care centre in Atlanta. Unfortunately, Hugh passed away due to natural causes on 13th April 2020. John could not see his father in person during his last minutes and had to bid him goodbye on FaceTime as social distancing measures restricted visitor access to the hospital.

This experience had a profound impact on John, who was inspired to help such patients keep in touch with their families using technology.

He learned that most nurses use their personal phones to help patients connect with their families, and decided to make the lives of such patients more cheerful.

“In the memory of my father, Hugh Lynch, I want to help people in the hospitals communicate with their family members,” John said.

Through his ‘Lunch with Lynch Foundation’ that he initiated in 2007, he launched ‘Operation Connection: The iPad Project.’ By means of this initiative, he urged members of his community to donate iPads, which would then be donated to local medical and healthcare centres.

“Within the first hour of reach-outs, we had 20 donated iPads,” John told CNN. “This initiative was driven by the community, without a doubt.”

The first 20 iPads were donated to the Cape May County Medical Center in New Jersey. However, since the initiative started, a total of 60 iPads have been collected, which will be distributed to nursing facilities in New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.

The iPads with their chargers are disinfected thoroughly before being donated.

Katie Hinchey, whose grandmother was a recipient of one of the donated iPads, said, “When grandmother was taken by ambulance, they took nothing with her. No phone. No list of numbers. No pigeon to carry messages. So, when I called her room this morning and the nurse asked if we could FaceTime – all my fears disappeared.”

Now, John plans to expand this initiative by collecting and distributing iPads regionally.

Isn’t this just a super effort by John to help patients and their families? What do you think?

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