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Singer, actor, and producer Tim McGraw (top center) surprised and delighted a handful of Virtua Health frontline nurses with a pop-up performance and conversation via video chat.

EVESHAM >> Singer, actor, and producer Tim McGraw surprised and delighted a handful of frontline nurses with a pop-up performance and conversation via video chat. The chart-topping, Grammy-winning artist used the opportunity to acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of the staff at Virtua Marlton Hospital.

Video of McGraw’s virtual visit can be seen on Facebook and Instagram as part of a series produced by Spotify called “The Drop-In.” Each episode features a vocal artist serenading and chatting with astonished fans.

“I thought I was calling in to a meeting with my colleagues,” said Jessica Vitarelli of Cherry Hill, a registered nurse who provides direct care for patients with COVID-19. “When Tim McGraw appeared on the screen – I couldn’t even process what I was seeing!”

The star’s unexpected visit elicited smiles and even a few tears from the Virtua colleagues.

Anthony “A.J.” Papeika of Maple Shade, an assistant nurse manager and longtime Tim McGraw fan, added, “It’s not every day that one of your heroes calls you a hero. I’m grateful for the experience and for all the support shown to health care workers.”

The other Virtua colleagues featured in the call are Anthony Flaherty, nursing director, and Lydia Leconey, registered nurse.

During the video call, McGraw thanked the Virtua staff for serving as an inspiration for his daughters and demonstrating the values of selflessness and sacrifice.

“You give our kids something to emulate,” he said.

McGraw also performed “I Called Mama,” a song from his newest album Here on Earth. The touching number – about “what’s important” in life – was a fitting tribute to these dedicated nurses.

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