Coronavirus News: Superstar Tim McGraw surprises New Jersey nurses to say thanks

COVID-19 News and Information
MARLTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Country music superstar Tim McGraw surprised a group of frontline hospital workers in New Jersey to express his gratitude.

McGraw helped make the day of the nursing staff in the COVID unit at Virtua Hospital on Thursday.

His appearance was arranged by Spotify as part of a new social series called "The Drop In," where artists pop in on the virtual gatherings of some of their biggest fans.

"I just wanted to, just to give, say thank you and what great work you guys are doing," McGraw said. "And most import for me, it's an inspiration to my daughters. Thank y'all for all of the great work you're doing."

"When Tim popped up it seemed like a beacon went off," said nursing director Anthony Flaherty. "They heard his voice and people started to come over and gather."

"No one could believe it, even getting word to other units people were like, no Tim McGraw didn't call," said assistant nurse manager AJ Papeika.

But yes, McGraw did call and it was just in time.

Back in May, the Burlington County hospital was maxed out with COVID patients,

"When you listen about COVID in the beginning, it was New York City, it was bigger hospitals, bigger facilities and it's happening in every community, in every county," Flaherty said. "It doesn't matter if it's big or small, it's still...it's still a fight."

Not only did McGraw pop in to say thank you, he also sang the group of nurses a song.

The serenade of his newly released son "I Call Mama" was the icing on the cake. But what meant the most was the 30-minute check in to make sure the nurses were OK.

"Not that it means any more coming from a celebrity, but someone who I always admired and been a huge fan of, it felt really good, I was just walking on air the rest of the day," said nurse Jessica Vitarell.

"Do not underestimate the impact of something as small as this is, it may be to him, but not to us, it is incredible," said nurse Lydia Leconey.

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