Myra Bhathena has taken it upon herself to help those suffering from the coronavirus in her own unique way.
The 16-year-old sophomore at Phillips Academy has been collecting devices such as cellphones, tablets, and iPads for hospitalized patients who are quarantined and otherwise forced into isolation.
“Other than the virus itself, COVID-19 patients have an immense emotional toll on them because of a lack of PPE and resources,” Myra said.
“They are only visited by their doctors and nurses a few times a day and of course they are not allowed any visitors," she added. "So if they don’t have their device with them, they are pretty much completely alone and that takes a toll on their mental health and physical health.”
Myra made a website, "Connect Against Covid," to reach out to people to donate devices. They can be dropped off at the Staples in North Andover, shipped to a device-specific P.O. Box Myra set up, or they can be left in the donor's mailbox if it's in the Greater Boston Area.
Myra got the idea to create the “Connect Against Covid” initiative from her mother, Dr. Jasmin Bhathena, who is the chief of pediatrics at Atrius Health in Peabody.
“My mom is a physician and one day she came home and told me that one of her colleagues asked if we had any devices at home that we weren’t using and could donate to patients in the ICU and the isolation units,” she said.
“And I realized I could make this more of a public issue, so I decided to make a website and make it easier for people to donate these devices.”
Myra has collected about 40 devices so far. Most have been Apple iPads, Samsung phones, old iPhones, and tablets.
According to Myra, the devices hospitals prefer are iPads that are FaceTime capable.
If you would like to donate a device please go to https://connectagainstcovid.com/.