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Teens collect devices to connect COVID-19 patients with family and friends

Two young men have launched an incredible project so COVID-19 patients in New England can FaceTime with their loved ones from the hospital. Kaya Suner posted the idea on Facebook, collecting iPads and iPhones so COVID-19 patients in the hospital can communicate with their loved ones. The response was overwhelming, and soon Suner partnered with former classmate Christopher Fridlington. The team helps connect families celebrating a birthday with their family, someone getting read their last rites, or someone saying goodbye to their family members. “Just knowing it might give someone a chance to say goodbye is sort of what drives all of us,” Fridlington said. The pair launched covidconnectors.org, the website guides you through clearing and sending in Apple devices. First, they filled the need at Rhode Island hospitals. They have helped Catholic Medical Center in Manchester to provide 250 devices needed, along with Brigham Health in Massachusetts. Suner feels a strong pull to pitch in, with both parents being doctors. “It’s a pretty big motivator to have my parents working on the front lines,” Suner said. They hope soon their efforts will not be needed, but until then, they’ll keep collecting and connecting.

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Teens collect devices to connect COVID-19 patients with family and friends

Two young men have launched an incredible project so COVID-19 patients in New England can FaceTime with their loved ones from the hospital. Kaya Suner posted the idea on Facebook, collecting iPads and iPhones so COVID-19 patients in the hospital can communicate with their loved ones. The response was overwhelming, and soon Suner partnered with former classmate Christopher Fridlington from New Hampton. The team helps connect families celebrating a birthday with their family, someone getting read their last rites, or someone saying goodbye to their family members. “Just knowing it might give someone a chance to say goodbye is sort of what drives all of us,” Fridlington said. The pair launched covidconnectors.org, the website guides you through clearing and sending in Apple devices. First, they filled the need at Rhode Island hospitals. They have helped Catholic Medical Center in Manchester to provide 250 devices needed, along with Brigham Health in Massachusetts. Suner feels a strong pull to pitch in, with both parents being doctors. “It’s a pretty big motivator to have my parents working on the front lines,” Suner said. They hope soon their efforts will not be needed, but until then, they’ll keep collecting and connecting.

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Local teens collect devices to connect COVID-19 patients with family and friends

Two young men have launched an incredible project so COVID-19 patients in New England can FaceTime with their loved ones from the hospital. Kaya Suner posted the idea on Facebook, collecting iPads and iPhones so COVID-19 patients in the hospital can communicate with their loved ones. The response was overwhelming, and soon Suner partnered with former classmate Christopher Fridlington from New Hampton. The team helps connect families celebrating a birthday with their family, someone getting read their last rites, or someone saying goodbye to their family members. “Just knowing it might give someone a chance to say goodbye is sort of what drives all of us,” Fridlington said. The pair launched covidconnectors.org, the website guides you through clearing and sending in Apple devices. First, they filled the need at Rhode Island hospitals. They have helped Catholic Medical Center in Manchester to provide 250 devices needed, along with Brigham Health in Massachusetts. Suner feels a strong pull to pitch in, with both parents being doctors. “It’s a pretty big motivator to have my parents working on the front lines,” Suner said. They hope soon their efforts will not be needed, but until then, they’ll keep collecting and connecting.

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Teens collect devices to connect COVID-19 patients with family and friends

Two young men have launched an incredible project so COVID-19 patients in New England can FaceTime with their loved ones from the hospital. Kaya Suner posted the idea on Facebook, collecting iPads and iPhones so COVID-19 patients in the hospital can communicate with their loved ones. The response was overwhelming, and soon Suner partnered with former classmate Christopher Fridlington from New Hampton. Advertisement The team helps connect families celebrating a birthday with their family, someone getting read their last rites, or someone saying goodbye to their family members. “Just knowing it might give someone a chance to say goodbye is sort of what drives all of us,” Fridlington said. The pair launched covidconnectors.org, the website guides you through clearing and sending in Apple devices. First, they filled the need at Rhode Island hospitals. They have helped Catholic Medical Center in Manchester to provide 250 devices needed, along with Brigham Health in Massachusetts. Suner feels a strong pull to pitch in, with both parents being doctors. “It’s a pretty big motivator to have my parents working on the front lines,” Suner said. They hope soon their efforts will not be needed, but until then, they’ll keep collecting and connecting.

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RI project connecting COVID-19 patients with loved ones expands to other states

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence teenager’s effort to connect hospitalized COVID-19 patients with their loved ones has taken off. COVID Connectors is collecting donations of gently used mobile devices and distributing to them to patients who don’t have their own and are isolated due to the no-visitor policy at hospitals. How to donate a device » It originally started as a way for 19-year-old Kaya Suner to keep busy during quarantine, but in just a few weeks time, it’s turned into a multi-state project to give back. Last Thursday, Suner tweeted through the organization’s account that it had already reached its goal of delivering 650 devices to hospitals in Rhode Island. “Once we met our need for Rhode Island, we were kind of faced with the question of, ‘do we want to stop here, or do we want to keep this going?'” Suner said over FaceTime on Tuesday. Suner said while he can’t say for sure how many devices are in use right now, his parents — both emergency room doctors — have seen the results firsthand. “Whether it’s a birthday party or someone saying their last goodbyes, as long as we can help connect people to their family, I’m happy,” Suner added. There was a steady flow of donations shortly after the website was launched, according to Suner, but when someone with a connection to Amazon got in touch, the company donated 540 Amazon Fire tablets. “That really fulfilled our need for Rhode Island and pushed us to move on to now Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” Suner said. With help from his mom, Suner then got in touch with Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, New Hampshire, which is now accepting donations. According to the website, donations will soon start being collected at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Suner said he’s looking into expanding to include nursing homes and is also in talks with hospitals in New York, Connecticut and Texas — some of the states hit hardest by the virus. In an ideal situation, he said COVID Connectors would no longer be needed, but for now, the need is there and he plans to keep on going. “As many people as we can reach with this project, we want to,” Suner said. Visit COVIDConnectors.org to learn more.

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Stepping Up: Providence teen, R.I. Medical Society collaborate to donate iPads to hospitals for COVID-19 patients

PROVIDENCE – Kaya Suner understands fully what is currently happening with the COVID-19 pandemic as his parents both work as emergency room doctors, and wanted to help out in any way possible. He first suggested to his mother that maybe he could sew custom cloth masks for medical workers. But Suner’s mother knew his sewing skills weren’t exactly “up to par,” Suner said Monday to Providence Business News. But, Suner, 19 of Providence who attended Emerson College this year, said his mother did inform him that coronavirus patients are battling the disease – and in some cases, dying from it – all alone in the hospitals because state officials implemented a ban on hospital visitation, with no ability to stay connected with loved ones even from a distance. “[My mother] was saying that the hospitals really need Apple devices right now because there’s all of these dying patients and there’s a visitation ban,” Suner said. “So, there’s no way these patients can say goodbye to their loved ones as they’re passing away, which is horribly unfortunate.”

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Governor: Social distancing working to keep virus cases down

A 19-year-old Rhode Island man has set up a program to help coronavirus patients who aren’t allowed to receive visitors while in the hospital stay connected to their loved ones. Kaya Suner helped establish the covidconnectors.org website that collects donated iPads, tablets and other devices that are distributed to patients. Suner got the idea from his parents, both emergency physicians, who told him of the need for devices to help patients stay in touch with family.

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Project collecting donated devices for RI patients reaches goal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of patients are now getting ways to connect with their families through sight and sound, thanks to a fast response to a project that launched just days ago. Kaya Suner, 19, is the child of two emergency room doctors and came up with COVID Connectors, a project to collect and distribute gently used mobile devices with video-phone capability to patients who don’t have their own. By the time the story aired Monday on WPRI 12, the organization had about 40 devices. Thursday afternoon, Suner said on the organization’s Twitter account that they’d reached their goal — 650 devices have now been collected to be delivered to hospitals in Rhode Island within one week.

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Donated iPads, tablets connect patients and families during coronavirus quarantine

Hospitals around the state have been closed to visitors in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, but this crucial infection control measure has led to painful consequences: patients in the hospital who can’t be with their loved ones. It’s a burden particularly in end-of-life situations when people need to say their final goodbyes. But it also arises when someone needs help with language translation, or when a disoriented patient might not be able to even explain what’s wrong, or even when someone might be nervous about being in a hospital during challenging times.

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Providence man creates website to connect families with loved ones

Gov. Gina Raimondo called out a 19-year-old from Providence during her live news conference on Wednesday for finding ways to help during the coronavirus pandemic. Kaya Suner is one of the people who created covidconnectors.org. The website is part of the mission to connect families with love ones in the hospital.

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After more than 3,500 cases and 87 deaths, Raimondo will reveal COVID-19 model for Rhode Island

Kaya Suner, a 19-year-old Providence resident came up with an idea to help ease isolation of elderly residents at nursing homes. He partnered with Rhode Island Medical Society to create COVIDconnectors.org to donate iPads, tablets, and iPhones to give to patients so they can connect with their loved ones, Raimondo said. Amazon also donated 540 tablets.

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Local Teen Launches Covid Connectors

Local teenager Kaya Suner, whose parents are emergency room doctors, has partnered with the Rhode Island Medical Society to provide local hospitals with gently used iPhones and iPads. Patients with the Coronavirus can use the devices to stay connected with their loved ones while stuck in the hospital. The program is called COVID Connectors.

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New data dashboard to show latest stats from RIDOH

To help those in the hospital and in long-term care facilities connect with their loved one, the governor shared that Kaya Suner, 19, of Providence, partnered with the Rhode Island Medical Society to developed COVID Connectors.

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THE LATEST: RI’s quarantine, isolation system ramping up

Raimondo on Wednesday highlighted a new initiative, called COVID Connectors, organized by 19-year-old Providence resident Kaya Suner and the Rhode Island Medical Society. The initiative is seeking donations of mobile devices such as cell phones, tablets and laptops to allow for greater connectivity between patients being treated in medical settings and their loved ones. The initiative can be found online at COVIDconnectors.org.

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Teen launches ‘COVID Connectors’ to help patients in RI hospitals talk to loved ones

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With no visitors being allowed at hospitals and long-term care facilities in Rhode Island due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some patients don’t have a way to talk to their families. A local teenager is hoping to change that by partnering with the Rhode Island Medical Society. Kaya Suner, 19, told Eyewitness News he originally wanted to make masks but had little sewing skills. His parents, who are both emergency room doctors, then suggested there was something else he could do to help patients: connect them with their loved ones.

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Local doctors collect used iPads and iPhones for patients to speak to families

A local doctor currently working in hospitals is hoping to give patients the opportunity to communicate with their loved ones during their visit. Dr. Rory Merritt, a local emergency room physician from Brown University, and Kaya Suner, the son of two emergency room physicians and a student at Rhode Island College have partnered together to make an idea a reality. "The health care workers are doing everything we can to make sure patients in Rhode Island are safe and are cared for," said Merritt. Since all Rhode Island hospitals have limited visitors from entering, Merritt is hoping to grant that opportunity to patients, virtually.

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Teen donates Apple devices to hospitals so patients can video chat family

College freshman Kaya Suner founded the non-profit Covid Connectors. His organization collects used smart phones and tablets to donate to hospitals in Rhode Island. Suner hopes patients can use the devices to video chat with their loved ones, since visiting hours have been suspended due to the pandemic.

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