Phoebe Coronavirus Family Connection Fund

Help provide more resources for patient/family connections at Phoebe

We can all agree that 2020 was an incredibly hard year for us all. For William Collins and his family, 2020 was a year of great loss that changed their lives forever. Last summer, William lost his mother, Beth Collins, and father, Billy Collins, all within 1 month.

“On July 2, 2020 I received a call early in the morning that Dad had passed away. It was unexpected, but not a shock. Nearly 90, dad had managed quintuple heart bypass surgery twice.” William shared.

William’s family gathered in Jacksonville for a brief, but wonderful celebration of Billy’s life. They returned home with plans to return soon to help his mother get adjusted and settled into her new normal. William’s mom had a little cough and he encouraged her to rest and take it easy.

A week later William received a text that his mother was in the Emergency Room and had COVID-19. “Three days later, my mother texted me her phone passcode. I had no idea this would be the last time we would communicate with each other.” William shared.

On July 22, 2020 William’s mother Beth passed away in Jacksonville. The ICU staff arranged for the family to be with her via Zoom, but their device was locked. The nurse used Beth’s phone to call William, and the family gathered with her until she passed. Without Beth’s last text to William with her phone passcode, she would have been alone. “Those priceless moments gave us the peace and comfort of being present and together. My adult children were given the chance to tell their Meme goodbye.” William shared.

As William reflected on this experience, he’s realized how important that connection was and being able to see his mother made all the difference. As we’re continuing to face COVID-19 in our community and nation, it is vital that families stay connected to their loved ones. With strict visitation policies and limitations, technology can step in to allow family members to connect and say goodbye.

William and his family have pledged to make a generous donation to Phoebe Foundation to help provide more resources for patient / family connection at Phoebe in memory of his parents Billy and Beth Collins and in honor of their four grandchildren. Examples of these resources include iPads and stands for each ICU floor so families can stay connected to their loved ones. It’s unimaginable to understand the pain of the Collins family, and so many others across our country who have had to say goodbye to family members without being by their side and holding their hand. William’s hope and prayer is that these resources will bless families and provide them a little bit of comfort as they grieve and face dark, hard days.

If you are interested in partnering with Phoebe Foundation to provide funds for patient / family connection resources, you can donate here!


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