NM woman raises funds to help COVID patients connect with loved ones

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Who is the most important person in your life? Imagine not being able to talk or see that person for months. That is what sparked a project to make it easier for families to stay in touch with COVID-19 patients, while in isolation.

Connecting in the COVID-19 world has its challenges. This past year was the first Christmas in 55 years that 79-year-old Henry Vallo didn’t spend it with his wife. Family is everything to him but he’s only been able to see them with the help of a nurse and her iPad.

Vallo shared laughs with his family from his hospital bed Christmas Day, something his daughter Heidi Roibal says helped his recovery. Roibal says her father only has a flip cell phone so they had to rely on a nurse to set up all their video calls.

Since there is a shortage of devices at hospitals, Roibal is now trying to raise $2,000 through a GoFundMe page to buy iPad minis to donate to nurses at the University of New Mexico Hospital. “Nurses have shared with us they really have to schedule time on Zoom with families because they only have one device,” said Roibal.

Roibal says she just wants to help families of other elderly COVID-19 patients.

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