Hoping to provide closure, sisters donate tablets to hospital

One of the most difficult parts for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is not being able to have loved ones visit or even say goodbye in person.

Virus-related hospitalizations have been steadily declining over the past month. Still, 250 people around Wisconsin remain in intensive care units as of Tuesday night, Dec. 29.

Those patients' loved ones are unable to be by their side, even as some take their last breath. 

It is a tragic situation that a Sheboygan family experienced this fall. As 2020 comes to an end, Lynne Becker and her siblings are finding a way to give back following a year that has taken so much.

"It was very tearful for me. I believe it was very tearful for them," Becker said.

Lynne Becker's parents

The four sisters lost both parents. Their mother passed away in June after becoming sick before the pandemic hit. Then, in mid-October, their father was taken to Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center after coming down with pneumonia in his nursing home.

"Because he had pneumonia, they placed him on the COVID floor," said Becker. "He tested positive two days before he passed away."

Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center

Due to the hospital's COVID-19 restrictions, only one daughter could be in their father's room to say goodbye. Becker used her cell phone to Facetime with her three sisters, who waited in the parking lot.

"It’s very disheartening not to have your loved ones with you to say goodbye, to give him a hug or hold his hand or -- it was just very hard," said Becker.

Lynne Becker and her sisters donate iPads to Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center

Following their dad's death, Lynne, Chris, Patty and Kathy used the money donated to his memorial to purchase six iPads for the hospital. The sisters dropped off the devices earlier this month.

Becker said the iPad will be given to patients at the end of life, so they can connect with loved ones while doing so safely from a screen.

"It’s a little bigger, and they can say goodbye and they can have closure for when their loved one passes away," Becker said.

Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center

The family hopes to help others facing the same unprecedented circumstances while also honoring their parents' legacy.

"Our parents raised us to do -- to make this world a better place and do things for others," said Becker.

Becker also wanted to thank the Aurora nurses and doctors in the COVID-19 ward and the palliative care team that treated her parents.

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