Project collecting donated devices for RI patients reaches goal

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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.

The organization is now exploring ways to expand and distribute more devices.

No visitors are being allowed to enter hospitals and long-term health care facilities in Rhode Island because of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Suner partnered with the Rhode Island Medical Society and volunteers to take donated devices, make sure they were wiped of data and disinfected, and get them to patients.

It helps the most severely ill to connect with their families — including, sometimes, to say goodbye.

More information about the program is available on its website, COVIDConnectors.org.

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