WIFE BELIEVES HER HUSBAND’S VENTILATOR SETTINGS WERE SET TO HYPERVENTILATE
Hospital Completely Isolated her Husband, Drugged Him, Paralyzed Him, Restrained Him and Eventually Killed Him.
This is a very hard story to tell for many reasons. At the time my husband became ill, I was in another state working. My husband thought he had bronchitis, and since our insurance was based in another state, he only had benefits if he went to an urgent care or emergency room. He tried an urgent care, but they instructed him to go to the emergency room.
He had been having symptoms for 2-3 days. The doctor there diagnosed him with Covid pneumonia and scolded him for not being vaccinated. He was not offered monoclonal antibodies (which were available at the time) and instead, he was sent home with an Albuterol inhaler and some cough medicine. Two days later, he was feeling worse and our son took him to a different emergency room and this time he received the monoclonal antibodies. His oxygen levels were not great, so he took him back to the emergency room and this time he was there for 10 hours on oxygen when they finally admitted him.
At this time, I left my job to get home to him. By the time they had admitted him, and at the same time, I was relieved that he was in the care of professionals. I didn’t know that this was the beginning of the nightmare. From the minute he was admitted, there was absolutely no contact from the doctors. We were able to call the nurses and get a little update, but absolutely nothing from the doctors.
Mike was on oxygen and had been given an antiviral, but I didn’t know anything about these medications or their side effects, and I wasn’t asked for consent.
The complete lack of communication led me to be suspicious of the doctors. At first I excused it as they were so busy, but his life was in the hands of complete strangers and I needed to know what was happening. After a couple days, we started complaining to the hospital and finally got a call from the attending physician. She was very curt and proclaimed that he was in critical condition. We were completely shocked. We had no idea it was that bad and couldn’t believe that nobody was keeping us in the loop.
The only communication we had with Mike was by phone . At first we called and used FaceTime, but with the oxygen masks it was difficult and he really didn’t have the energy. So we limited it to texts so he could focus on getting rest. I would ask him if I could bring him anything and he said all he wanted was “a little kiss.”
Mike continued to be the one to text me what was happening, like when they moved him to a step-down unit. He told me the doctor said his prognosis wasn’t good. My husband had never been afraid of anything and this doctor had told him that we should discuss final arrangements, and he was scared. I was beyond terrified and angry, and I couldn’t even be there to comfort him, to look out for him. I felt completely powerless over what was happening to him. I kept calling the hospital that day and the palliative care doctor called me back. She said he seemed okay and reassured me that just because he was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) didn’t mean that he would be ventilated. But she did bring up that we should start considering what we want if he took a bad turn. This was the first I heard about a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR), and I said, “No way.” I also told her no ventilator.
That night, he was intubated after the doctor on call ignored the nurse’s repeated calls for help for almost 4 hours while Mike was having chest pain and shortness of breath. (I didn’t know that part until I got his medical records.)
The doctor who informed me [of his intubation] claimed that his blood pressure had suddenly dropped. I demanded to know why they didn’t call, and she said since we didn’t sign a DNR, they could do whatever they “needed to do.”
My husband was kept completely sedated for the next 20 days. We could stand outside of his ICU room for 15 minutes a day. Still, no doctors spoke to us except for the resident assigned to him. We were told he would be extubated, but [he] then developed AKI (Acute Kidney Injury) supposedly from the intubation. I now know he had been given Remdesivir along with so many sedatives. He would have to have a ventilator to breathe for him.
Finally, after being on the ICU roller coaster, for weeks and concerns over ventilator pneumonia, we wanted him to have a tracheostomy. This doctor was communicating with us but had to wait till all of the numbers were right. Unfortunately, this happened over the weekend, so it was put on hold for three more days. The day of the tracheostomy I went so see Mike about an hour and a half later. His blood pressure was high, the tube was out of his throat and his mouth was wide open. The ventilator settings seemed to be set to hyperventilate. I had never seen them set so high. I was so concerned, but of course no doctor was around. The nurse said she was concerned about one of the sedatives he was on, so I kept hanging around trying to get a doctor’s attention. I had no luck. Finally, I had to leave. Like most of the days, I felt so torn between screaming at these people to talk to me and for leaving my completely helpless loved one in their care.
At one point, I wanted to move him but had no idea where to go that might be better. Later that evening, I called the night nurse. She had a very strong accent, and I could barely understand her. She said he was doing fine and mentioned adjusting the sedation when I asked about his blood pressure.
About an hour later, I got a call that he was in cardiac arrest. I stayed on the phone until I heard them say they had a heartbeat. I asked, “Should I come?” and the nurse said she would have the doctor call me. He called about 30 minutes later asking permission to stop compressions and telling us all sort of things they had tried. I was in shock! This was supposed to be a step towards getting off the vent? My poor husband. I didn’t feel they were really giving me a choice. I just felt he had been through enough and finally gave permission.
Even though it had been over 30 days since he tested positive, they tried to keep my sons from coming to the hospital with me. It took 40 minutes to get to the hospital, and we had to wait for a security guard to accompany us to the ICU. It was a ghost town. Nobody greeted us. We went to his room, and of course it was too late. We finally got to see him and say our goodbyes. It was the worst moment of my life. My strong, smart, loving husband was gone.
After leaving the room, we were finally approached by the nurse. Not to give condolences, but to have us sign a form. My husband was a hardworking man who helped everyone, and they completely isolated him, drugged him, paralyzed him, restrained him and eventually killed him. He didn’t deserve this. Nobody does.
Don’t ever blindly trust the medical profession. Do not go to a hospital which does not allow family members access to their loved ones.
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