After 40 years of mother-daughter togetherness, Karen Pearson got 45 seconds to tell her mother how much she loved her.
That was her portion of an iPad visit, shared with multiple family members, before her mother died from COVID-19 in November.
The Michigan hospital’s iPad inventory was limited, and since Julie Books was on a ventilator and couldn’t talk, an iPad wasn’t allocated to her.
“Even though Mom couldn’t talk to us, I think she could still hear us,” said Pearson, who lives in Elizabethtown. “We wanted her to hear our voices, to hear how much we still needed her.”
By the time the family got permission to bring her an iPad, days had lapsed without any communication or encouragement expressed from them to their mom.
When they finally were able to talk to her, they cheered her on to get better, listing off all the reasons she had to live. Although Books could not respond, no one said good-bye because no one believed that time had come, Pearson said.
Two days later, Books died, surrounded by her husband and two children.
Now, Pearson and her brother, Michael Books, are on a mission to raise funds to supply hospitals across the nation with iPads for every COVID-19 patient upon arrival.