Special delivery: 100 donated iPads from viewers given to DMC hospitals for COVID-19 patients

Boxes of donated iPads are being trucked out of the UPS store and loaded into Rob Wolchek's car.

These aren't just any iPads; these are special ones - generously donated from FOX 2 viewers all across metro Detroit.

"I've been involved in a lot of things here in my career at the UPS store but this one just seemed like it clicked," said Eric.

Eric owns the UPS store in Livonia. He and other UPS store owners across metro Detroit offered up their stores as drop off locations. And now, we're stuffing my car with box after box of iPads they collected from our viewers.

"We're getting a little bit of a competition between store like who can collect the most iPads," Eric said. "It's for a good cause but, we had fun doing it."

Here's how it started. Last week, Rob Wolchek spoke with Dr. Rudolph Valentini who told me patients with COVID-19 in the DMC hospitals were isolated from their friends and family.  This novel coronavirus is so contagious that no visitors are allowed.  

He said having iPads would be a game changer.  Patients could see and hear their family members on FaceTime.  

So, Wolchek did a story suggesting FOX 2 viewers donate their old iPads and you responded in a major way.

Rob offered to pick up iPads from people's houses, and did.  

Plus, we got another 90 or so dropped off at the UPS stores. Now, with his car stuffed full, Wolchek drove to Harper Hutzel Hospital in Detroit. That's where we caught up with Doctor Valentini.

"We got you about a hundred iPads all donated by FOX 2 viewers," Wolchek said.

MORE: UPS stores step up as iPad donation centers for DMC patients battling COVID-19

"Thank you so much Rob, this is going to be an amazing gift for our patients and our families," Dr. Valentini said.

Can he use 100 iPads?  Heck yeah. Detroit Medical Center has several major hospitals.

Once again, the doctor reminds us why these communication devices are so important for the COVID-19 patients.

"It's bad enough that they're struggling with a disease they don't understand that's making them many times sicker than they've ever been in their lifetime," the doctor said. "And yet they don't have anybody they can speak to, that can comfort them in a way that a family member can."

MORE: Your old iPad can still be donated to help DMC COVID-19 patients in the fight of their lives

What a gift all of our generous FOX 2 viewers, have given me the honor of delivering.  

"It's going to make all the difference in the world," Dr. Valentini said. "Thank you very much for your generosity and the viewers who reached out to help us here at the Detroit Medical Center."