A terminally ill Army veteran has one heart rending final wish: to receive text messages and calls from members of the public.
47-year-old Lee Hernandez from Texas is currently receiving hospice care at his home, having experienced continuous cognitive and vision impairing strokes.
Despite have undergone three brain surgeries, the heroic soldier’s condition continues to deteriorate.
The cause for this devastating illness is unknown, however Doctors have said that there is nothing more that can be done except make him as comfortable as possible.
One day, Lee, who has previously served 18 1/2 years in the army, asked his wife Ernestine Hernandez to keep an eye on his phone ‘in case somebody calls’.
Two hours went by, and nobody called.
Lee then made the following tragic remark to Ernestine:
I guess no one wants to talk to me.
— Fallen HeroesProject (@WAFallenHBP) July 14, 2017
To hear such deep sadness from a loved one in pain must have been unbearable.
Ernestine has spoken out about her own emotional response at that moment:
It broke my heart,
(Lee’s) speech is not very well, so many people didn’t take much interest or want to talk to him.
Lee has suffered from health problems for the last five years, but hit ‘rock bottom’ over a year ago.
VIDEO: An Army veteran with a terminal illness has a final wish that we can all help with. Nate Kelly/azcentral.com pic.twitter.com/HbnbEPvgdy
— azcentral (@azcentral) July 15, 2017
Little did the brave couple realise the amount of warmth and love that people were willing to give…
Ernestine reached out to Caregivers of Wounded Warriors, in the hope of spreading Lee’s wish for contact.
According to Ernestine, this community group has been very supportive:
They are an excellent support group of wives and ladies who know the struggles of what we go through.
https://t.co/A6PoJtVwjw please everyone take two second out of your day to send a final salute.
— Steven Jones (@stevenjones88) July 15, 2017
Ernestine’s moving plight to bring some joy to her husband’s final days has clearly resonated.
The Arizona Veterans Forum posted the veteran’s humble last wish on their Facebook page, and Lee was soon flooded with calls and messages from well-wishers.
Sending a friendly text message may seem like such a small gesture, but for a person in Lee’s position, some well meaning words have the potential to brighten his day.
Lee is blind and so his caring wife has to read the many thoughtful text messages and cards to him.
According to Ernestine, Lee loves listening to the outpouring of support from those letting him know that he is not alone:
A lot of people call to pray with him. It really uplifts him.
Lee can be contacted on the following number: 210-632-677
Those who wish to contact Lee should make sure to do so in the evening, preferably between 2 and 6pm Arizona time. This is the time when Lee is most alert, despite heavy pain medication.
Ernestine, who has described her husband as a ‘fighter’ has made the following statement:
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.
Our thoughts are with this courageous and loving couple.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.