An Army veteran with a terminal illness has a wish that is simple and anyone can help with.
It doesn't require anyone to spend money, or give up a lot of their time, but would mean the world to a man who served his country.
Lee Hernandez is an 18 1/2 year Army veteran who served a tour in Iraq.
He has been battling health issues for 5 years but hit "rock bottom" more than a year ago.
Lee, is now in hospice care near his home in New Braunfels, Texas as he continues to have strokes that affect his vision and cognitive functions.
The 47-year-old man's body is deteriorating in spite of having 3 brain surgeries, according to his wife, Ernestine Hernandez.
Doctors have been unsuccessful at pinpointing the cause of Lee's illness and said there is nothing more they can medically do for him, other than keep him comfortable.
In spite of the grave circumstances, his wife has discovered a way to brighten Lee's day.
Continue to the next page to find out how and what you can do to help.
Ernestine has made a plea to people for phone calls and text messages to help brighten her dying husband's day.
The request came after Lee asked his wife to hold his phone in case someone calls. After nearly 2 hours with no calls Lee told his wife, I guess no one wants to talk to me.”
“It broke my heart,” said Ernestine. “(Lee’s) speech is not very well, so many people didn’t take much interest or want to talk to him.”
That's when she reached out to Caregivers of Wounded Warriors to spread Lee's request.
“They are an excellent support group of wives and ladies who know the struggles of what we go through," Ernestine said.
After his request was posted to the Arizona Veterns Forum on Facebook last week, Lee has had an influx of calls come in.
Kind words, thanks and telling him he is not alone has really lifted his spirits.
Ernestine says “a lot of people call to pray with him. It really uplifts him.”
His request has been met thousands of times over.
"Had one of the best days in a long time and even danced! This is huge," he said on a GoFundMe page set up Sunday for Lee.
The page was set up for a brief amount of time to “fill this season of his life with all the joy that we can.” It was quickly shut down after meeting its fundraising goal of $3,000.
According to the Arizona Veteran’s Forum, Lee “is getting a service dog, cleaning service and his old platoon that he lost contact with are going to make a trip to see him after many years.”
People who want to reach out by calling or texting Lee, should do so between 2-6PM Arizona time. Lee is alert in spite of being on heavy pain medication.
“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.
The phone number to reach the family is 210-632-6778.
They do add that they may not answer the phone every time, as some days Lee is in an incredible amount of pain.
People are also encouraged to send cards:
P.O. Box 200265
San Antonio, TX 78220
or an email to: email@example.com.
"His medical condition is still very fragile, but he loves the support you all are giving him," says the GoFundMe page.