By Debbie Gregory.
An Army veteran with a terminal illness has a final wish that we can all help with.
Lee Hernandez suffers from a debilitating condition that was deemed terminal after three brain surgeries failed to identify the cause.
One day, Lee asked his wife and caregiver, Ernestine Hernandez, to hold onto his phone “in case someone calls.” After nearly two hours with no calls, Lee told her, “I guess no one wants to talk to me.”
Ernestine contacted the advocacy groups Caregivers of Wounded Warriors and the Arizona Veterans Forum with a request for phone calls and texts of good wishes that she could pass on to her husband.
Currently on Hospice care, the 47 year-old’s dying wish is to hear from you.
The July 11th Facebook post on the Arizona Veterans Forum page went viral. In just a matter of days, Lee received more than 100,000 texts and calls from well-wishers.
Family friend Susan Frawley, also a veteran caregiver to her Marine veteran husband, started the Facebook page Team Lee!!! American Hero Support Group, to assist the couple.
Because the multiple strokes have left Lee blind, Ernestine reads the messages to him.
In addition to the Facebook page, Frawley created a GoFundMe campaign on July 16 to raise money for Lee and Ernestine to travel and enjoy the time he has left, and the campaign has nearly reached its $3,000 goal.
People who want to call or text Lee should reach out in the evening hours, ideally between 2pm and 6pm Arizona time. Ernestine said that is when Lee is the most alert, despite heavy pain medication. The phone number is 210-632-6778.
“Thank you everyone for your calls and support. I am trying to give him the best life I am able to with the help of my mom,” Ernestine said.