Shortly after receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on July 22, 2021, my sister Dawn, tested positive for Covid. After trying for a week to get better, she went to the ER and was admitted and placed on Oxygen, steroids, Remdesivir, cough and anxiety medication, while Zinc and Vitamins C and D were stopped. She remained on the Covid floor for 7-10 days and was improving and slated to come home in a few days.
On Saturday morning she called and said, “Heidi, you have to get me out of here. They’re trying to kill me!” She pleaded with me to stay on the phone. She told me that she had a bad panic attack that night. During the attack, her Oxygen levels went down, but once she had it under control, it went up. The nurse checked on her in the morning and she was still on track to go home soon.
Later she was woken up from a nap and told that she was being put in ICU. The doctors in the ICU instantly told her that she needed to go on the ventilator. They told her that if she didn’t listen to them and do what they said, she was going to die. She pleaded for me to get her out, but they told us they wouldn’t give her Oxygen if she left and she would die during transport. She refused the ventilator, yet they continued to prepare her for it. They took away all food and fluids, even IV fluids. She was hungry and thirsty. The only liquid she would get was to take with her medication. She put me on speaker phone with the doctors and I asked for Ivermectin, antibodies, and I demanded that her vitamins be restarted. I was told they did not administer the antibodies there, and they do not believe any of those things, including the vitamins, are of any help. I demanded that she be fed. This entire time, she was talking with no shortness of breath. She wore glasses. She told me that, even with the Oxygen mask on, her glasses kept fogging and her hair was blowing. She knew that she was not getting 100% Oxygen and was not struggling to breathe. Once in the ICU, she was no longer able to see her Oxygen monitor to know her levels. On the Covid floor, it was facing her and she could keep an eye on it. Now she had no way of keeping track for herself.
I began making phone calls trying to find another hospital to take her to, and also ambulatory transport centers. All of these places told us that her doctor had to release her while her doctors told us that the other hospital would have to initiate the transfer. The ambulance companies told us that they could only pick her up on the sidewalk unless she was officially released. She was in a large hospital and had no idea where the exit was. She had been in bed for two weeks at this point and had developed blood clots in her legs shortly after being admitted. She was being told repeatedly that if she left, she would die. “You’ll die if you don’t listen to us.” “You’ll die in the car during transport.”
So we continued to talk to the “patient advocate” at Kaiser and the head nurse in charge who only went into Dawn’s room to tell her that if she left, she would die. The social worker was supposed to bring a Power of Attorney form for Dawn to complete, but she only emailed it to her. She was in the ICU and could not print so I called the Nurses’ Station requesting paperwork to be brought in, but it never was.
I remained on the phone with Dawn as much as possible. She was talking without shortness of breath the entire time. She was hungry, but they would not give her food. She said she felt like she was a prisoner and being treated inhumanely. The doctors kept insisting the ventilator was her only option. Eventually in the morning, they brought her Jello, but took it away before she finished it.
She believed she had to get her anxiety under control or they would use it against her as an excuse to put her on the ventilator. The entire time her Oxygen never sustained a significant length of time below 90%. In the middle of that night, a nurse woke her up from sleeping only to tell her that if she did not do what they told her, she was going to die. We asked the doctor what happened to the Hippocratic Oath that he had sworn to. That question, like so many others, went unanswered.
At one point, after much demanding, she was finally given broth. She started sending us pictures of the Oxygen mask on her face. It was barely on and no alarms sounded. She was not struggling to breathe.
On Sunday night she was having a panic attack. She was waiting for her cough medicine that had Codeine and helped calm her anxiety. It was too early for her to get it so I stayed on the phone during her panic attack until it was eventually administered and then we talked until it kicked in. Once she was relaxed, we spent the next hour going through her bills. This was a total of about three hours of conversation and she never struggled for air. We were going over her bills because she had the feeling that she was going to have no option other than the ventilator. She was preparing me to take care of things for a few weeks. That night, I set my alarm to wake up when her medicine would be wearing off so I could be on the phone with her during another panic attack.
That doctor said to us that her Oxygen saturation was getting worse. Shortly before that, my sister had been told by a nurse that it was getting better. This was in her chart. When I asked the doctor if he had actually looked at her chart, he told me yes. I asked him to look at it again. He admitted that he was incorrect, and it had gone up. Her Oxygen had actually improved, yet the ventilator was the only option being given to her.
Monday proved to be nothing but the same runaround. Meanwhile, my sister had been deprived of food, water, and compassion for three days now. She was weak, terrified, and defeated. After I got home from work that day, she called me to talk about going on the ventilator. They had worn her down with dehydration, starvation, and fear. I supported her because I heard the desperation in her voice. She told me to tell her story so that “they” never do this to anyone else. This was around 6/7 PM on Monday. Shortly thereafter, I got the phone call that my sister suffered a cardiac arrest after being placed on the ventilator.
Oddly enough, when she was unconscious and only one machine keeping her body alive, suddenly it was okay for us to go in and look at her lifeless body through the window.
This is heartbreaking!!!
I am so sorry-for your loss, your heartache and the fact that you and your family went through this.