FOX 2 - Do you have an old iPad laying around? Rob Wolchek is going to show you can take your old iPad and make a significant impact in somebody's life when they need it most.
No one wants to be sick in the hospital - and being alone in the hospital, without your family and friends to comfort you, is scary.
Coronavirus is so contagious, there are no visitors allowed.
Dr. Rudolph Valentine, chief medical officer for the Detroit Medical Center, explains.
"We have lots of patients that have COVID-19 disease, you know Detroit has been heavily impacted,” he said. "Because of the executive order and good infection control practices we don't accept visitors."
But with an iPad, patients can talk safely over FaceTime and see their loved ones - and Wolchek is going to see how many iPads he can collect, to donate to the DMC.
This idea started in the Flint area by a guy named Bryan Bender, whose daughter is one of the front line heroes.
"She's a nurse at local hospital here in Genesee County and she mentioned a couple of weeks ago, how sad it was for so many of the patients and their families that they couldn't communicate with each other because they were under quarantine," Bender said.
Bender started an iPad drive and people are donating iPads right to his driveway.
We going to do things a little different. Wolchek will either pick up your iPad or find a safe, essential work place for a drop off.
But it all starts with an email - and some easy instructions.
"All they have to do is wipe their personal ID off of it, so it's clean from a technical standpoint,” Bender said. “And then donate it, and at that point the hospital or nursing home can set up their own account and use it inside their building."
We're starting with the DMC.
“It's going to be a great tool,” Valentini said.
They have several large hospitals and really like the idea.
“So having technology that will allow their loved ones to interact with each other here in the hospital will be a godsend,” he said. “It's really going to be a difference-maker for us."
If you have an iPad you want to donate to someone who really needs it, we're partnering with UPS Stores across Metro Detroit to collect the tablets. Find the one near you in the embed below.
Wolchek really wants to help the people in the hospital connect with their families - and we all can do it together.
"In order for us to do our jobs effectively, we have to be able to communicate the message, and in order for the patient to get healing - they need to heal mentally - so they will be able to connect with their own family members, will be wonderful," Dr. Valentini said.
When you email Wolchek at firstname.lastname@example.org and put iPad in the subject line, he'll make sure your iPad gets to a patient that needs it at the DMC.