MANSFIELD — Though many hospitals around the world are continuing to take precautions and ensure their patients are safe, it doesn’t stop the loneliness and isolation those patients feel.
Shelby resident Bonnie Banichar started a GoFundMe page to raise enough money to provide iPads to ICU patients in OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital.
“I hate just sitting here not doing anything, not being able to go hug a neighbor that needs it,” Banichar said.
Banichar, who’s held many fundraisers in the past with her husband, realized immediately the ramifications that COVID-19 had on many people with family members or friends in the ICU who they weren’t able to see in person due to visitor restrictions.
Reaching out to OhioHealth Shelby Hospital first, she was then redirected to Mansfield Hospital where she was told the most critical patients were hospitalized.
While there’s no set goal at the moment on how many iPads to purchase for the patients, Banichar said if she reaches $1,500, an anonymous donor has agreed to match the $1,500.
Banichar needed help with sourcing the iPads and figuring out the budget and turned to the owner of Shelby Computer, Riley Place for guidance.
“She’s been a good customer to us,” Place said, speaking high praises of Banichar. “She was the one to reach out to me and I was definitely all for the idea. It’s really been all her and she’s been leading the way.”
Banichar’s daughter works at Mansfield Hospital, who Banichar’s often worried about what she’s had to see. She also knows from the experience of having two surgeries last year and staying overnight in a hospital how lonely it can be.
“During after hours when you’re just laying there and thinking, ‘I can’t have anybody check on me,’ it’s just a tough situation,” Banichar said.
Mansfield Hospital associates currently use their personal cell phones to help the ICU patients reach their loved ones, however Banichar’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
“We appreciate the thoughtfulness of Mrs. Banichar to raise funds for iPads,” Christina Thompson, media relations and communications senior consultant for Mansfield and Shelby Hospitals, wrote in an email.
The GoFundMe has made $265 since May 2. Banichar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I love what she’s doing, I’ve loved the idea from the start,” Place said. “I’m hoping she gets everything she asks for and more and I love the cause, and it’s a pleasure to help her out with it.”