As he lay there dying, all Lee Hernandez wanted was for someone to give him a call. But his phone didn’t ring. So, his wife turned to the Internet for help, sharing the veteran’s final wish online. And thanks to her plea, calls, texts and prayers are pouring in from strangers from all over!
Dying Veteran’s Final Wish
At only 47 years old, Army veteran Lee Hernandez is on his death bed in Texas. A mystery illness has doctors baffled, and they say there’s nothing left for them to do.
Lee spent 18 and a half years serving his country. His time even included a tour in Iraq. But for the past 5 years, health issues have plagued him. While his wife, Ernestine, says he’s a fighter, his health finally hit rock bottom.
Lee suffers from continuous strokes, which have affected his vision and cognitive abilities. Despite 3 brain surgeries, his body continues to deteriorate, so now he’s in hospice care.
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Aside from the physical pain, it must be rather tedious waiting around to die. One day, Lee asked his wife, Ernestine, to hold his phone, “in case someone calls.” But the phone remained silent.
“I guess no one wants to talk to me,” Lee said after two hours of waiting.
The somber words broke his wife’s heart.
"(Lee's) speech is not very well, so many people didn't take much interest or want to talk to him,” she explained.
So, Ernestine turned to the "Caregivers of Wounded Warriors" for help.
Veteran’s Final Wish Goes Viral
The veteran’s final wish wound up getting shared on the Arizona Veterans Forum Facebook page. And from there, things took off.
Lee’s silent phone suddenly blew up. Thousands of calls and texts poured in from all around the world!
“A lot of people call to pray with him,” Ernestine said. “It really lifts him up.”
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Ernestine reads each message to Lee, and responds to as many as she can. She tries to answer the calls as often as she can, but because Lee is in a great amount of pain, it’s not always possible. But the texts and messages of support have meant so much to the family.
In fact, Ernestine helped Lee record a video expressing his gratitude, which she shared on Facebook.
“Thank you all for your text messages and your phone calls, and for thinking of me and supporting me,” Lee struggled to say in the video. “I appreciate it all.”
WATCH: Dying Veteran’s Thank You For Calls And Texts
Encouraging texts can be sent to Lee and Ernestine at (210) 632-6778. The hours between 2pm CST and 6pm CST are best. Ernestine says that it’s not always possible to answer the phone every time a call comes in, since some days Lee is in a lot of pain. But the couple truly appreciates each and every message.
“Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Romans 15:1
h/t: USA Today
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