When media and tech-expert Jon Loew thought he was on his deathbed after suffering from a severe allergic reaction in 2011, he recorded videos using a patented technology that would deliver the recordings at certain dates (birthdays, graduations, weddings) to his children when he was gone.
But, against all odds, the father of two made a miraculous recovery only months later. And he decided to use the unique video messaging service system he’d developed to help families stay in touch — specifically those in the military.
“There are hundreds of thousands of men and women deployed overseas who had the same concerns about what would happen to their children if they don’t make it through,” says Loew, 45. “TroopTree.com allows military families to keep in touch with their deployed loved ones for free and families can save the videos of their loved ones forever, also for free.”
TroopTree is a cloud-based video system on iOS and Android that, unlike other messaging platforms, does not require both users to have Internet access at the same time (a huge bonus for military families) and allows you to save recorded videos. Over 30,000 people now use the technology since it was developed in 2011.
Five years ago, Loew had a severe allergic reaction to the commonly prescribed antibiotic, Levaquin. It took months for doctors to identify a correct diagnosis, and during that time he suffered from inability to sleep or eat, permanent nerve damage and temporary loss of hearing.
Doctors gave him a few months to live.
So, Loew set to work developing a messaging technology called FutureSend that would automate video delivery to his children, Sammy and Coby, and his wife, Joy, when he died.
In an especially emotional video, the then-ailing father said: “The most important advice I can give you is to remember that nothing is ever as bad as it seems and in most cases things are not as good as they seem, keep a level head and go through life as calmly as you can! One of the things that helps me to is to think about you and mommy. I love you both and I hope you watch this at times when you need a little pick me up. Believe it or not everything will be okay.”
After recording many of these “goodbye” videos, Loew was correctly diagnosed in 2011 and is still on the road to recovery.
After his brush with death, Loew’s entire outlook on life changed. He wondered how he could use his video system to help other families going through similar situations
“All I could think about as I was fighting was what would happen to my kids if I didn’t make it through,” says Loew.
That same year, he created TroopTree, available exclusively for members of the military and their families. It uses the FutureSend technology Loew developed to record and send videos. For the majority of deployed personnel who do not have daily Internet access and are often stationed thousands of miles away in a time zone 8-9 hours ahead, it’s a way to stay in touch without having the ability to constantly communicate.
The technology has also been opened up so anyone can send a thank you message to troops overseas.
“We are very proud of our work,” says Loew.