Technology has yet to cure the coronavirus. But one coronavirus patient and her pastor believe that cell phones can help provide much needed comfort to patients when they are fighting the virus.
Maxine Kemp is recovering from coronavirus at home with her family. But during days of treatment at Kaiser Harbor City, the retired educator was cut off from the world when her cell phone died and she didn't have a phone charger.
“These days you don’t know numbers unless they’re in your phone," said Kemp. "They got me a phone in the hospital. But you don’t have any numbers that you know that you can call! They’re all in your phone.”
Kemp's family held signs outside her hospital window after the 81-year-old was admitted with presumed cancer complications.
“They [doctors] said the fever's up and said 'We’re gonna keep you'", Kemp said. "I didn’t even know they had taken a test for the coronavirus. They admitted me to the hospital and two days later they said you tested positive for coronavirus."
The challenge of COVID-19 patients staying connected on their devices while in isolation in the hospital, resonated with Kemp's church.
Her pastor was inspired and teamed up with Best Buy and other faith leaders in hopes to put phone chargers in select hospitals as soon as possible.
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“Individuals are literally dying alone," said Rev. Douglas Nelson of Stay Connected Life Ministries. "They are not in contact with family, friends or loved ones. God gave me the idea just then to create a ministry.”
Formal announcements are planned Monday about the partnership born in a pandemic. Nelson said the partnership is designed to make sure no one is alone.
“The partnership is so we could purchase products, both Android & Apple products at a great price," said Nelson. "We could provide locally and around the country if people choose to support us."
Kemp said she saw no visitors in the hospital, only helpful hospital staff. She agrees a working device is precious when illness fills your world.
"You’re devastated that you’re in there and with this deadly virus. You need someone to talk to and someone to pray with," said Kemp.