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California family fundraising to get phone chargers so COVID-19 patients don’t suffer alone


SAN DIEGO (NBC) -A California family is raising money to help keep hospitalized COVID-19 patients in touch with loved ones.

Dr. Steve Hefler, is a Navy veteran and pediatrician hospitalized in Florida for coronavirus. He’s been on a ventilator for two weeks in total isolation and not even his wife can visit.

His family has relied on cell phones to keep in touch with Hefler and that nearly ended when Hefler’s phone battery recently died.

But thanks to a nurse who had a charging cord the Hefler’s were able to reconnect with their sick father.

That’s when Hefler’s son and daughter in law started a fundraiser to buy charging cords for hospitals.

“We got lucky that a nurse, an angel of a nurse said, ‘You know what? I have an extra charger at home. I’ll go home and get it and bring it back… it’s hot pink sparkly charger. We said we don’t care, we’ll take anything,” Jon Hefler said.

The Hefler family said so far they’ve delivered 1,000 chargers to hospitals across the country.

“It’s just about us reaching out to enough hospitals to raise awareness. So all the people stuck in ICU and are fighting and so many dying alone just because their cell phone runs out of charge. I mean it’s 2020. It is America. How is this even a thing?” Hefler said.


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