DANVILLE, Calif. (KRON) — A Bay Area teen was compelled by his grandparents’ health struggles during the COVID-19 crisis to launch a campaign helping elderly nursing home residents stay in touch with their families.
Daniel Avram, a student at Monte Vista High School in Danville, said shortly after shelter-in-place order began, both of his grandparents suffered life-changing medical emergencies.
“My grandpa had a severe stroke which left him paralyzed and unable to speak. My grandma, one week after grandpa had the stroke, fell down and critically injured herself,” Avram told KRON4. “They are now both in local nursing homes.”
Family visitations at nursing homes are currently suspended, and as a result, nursing home residents are more socially isolated than ever before.
“I haven’t been able to see them for weeks,” Avram, 17, said.
Out of kindness, nurses used their personal cellphones to let Avram and his grandparents Facetime video chat periodically from their living facility.
“These nursing homes are going through hard times financially. People’s loved ones are dying without the chance to even say goodbye to their family. A lot of people in the nursing homes have dementia, strokes and other severe illnesses. They feel lonely, isolated and depressed because they were used to seeing their family members,” Avram said.
The nurses’ cellphones gave Avram an idea. He began raising money to buy iPads for nursing homes and rehabilitation centers around the Bay Area so more grandparents could see their loved ones from afar using Facetime.
“These tablets will provide so much comfort to those people who can not be with their loved ones while they are in critical health,” he said.
So far, Avram has raised enough money to purchase 20 iPads and he recently made his first donation to a rehabilitation center.
“Every tablet will bring dozens of families together,” he said.
Avram was nominated to be a KRON4 Hero for his iPad donation campaign.