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Babette's Story

Houston, TX

Mom didn’t want to go to the hospital.

My Mother,Vivian Sundermeyer .

She Felt Really Horrible

"That night they said she had pneumonia."

At the end of January 2021, my mother had a fall at home and couldn’t get up. Luckily, a neighbor noticed that she hadn’t been out of the house, and when she couldn’t get mom to answer the door or phone, she called me. I drove to mom’s house and found her on the floor. She had been there several hours unable to get up. We called an ambulance, and they got her up off the floor, but mom didn’t want to go to the hospital.

I went over to mom’s house every day, for 3 days, after that because she was acting odd and I was afraid she might have a concussion from the fall. On the 3rd day, mom said that she had wished that she let the ambulance take her to the hospital because she felt really horrible. I told her I could take her and did.

In the ER

The evening that they admitted her. At first, they would not let me go into the hospital with her. But the doctor called me later and asked me to come back because I think mom wasn’t very responsive to his questions. So, I went back and stayed in her hospital room for several hours while they ran tests. That night they said she had pneumonia.

She had had a cough for about 2 weeks prior and had been to the doctor several times. She had had covid tests I believe twice during those visits, but she was told that they were negative. That doctor gave her cough medicine. The hospital did a covid test the night she was admitted. The next day I was told that it was positive.


“The doctor told me to look up Remdesivir on the internet.”

At first, mom seemed to be doing well in the hospital. My sister and I both talked to her on the phone over several days. Different doctors or nurses would call me to give me updates at least once a day. During one of the calls, a doctor told me that there was a drug that they were using to treat Covid patients called Remdesivir, but they needed to get permission from me to use it on mom. The doctor told me to look up Remdesivir on the internet, then let her know my decision later. Not once did that doctor mention that Remdesivir had been involved in so much kidney failure and deaths during the Ebola outbreak that it had to be pulled. She gave me no warnings at all.

I looked up Remdesivir on the internet but unfortunately didn’t find anything about large numbers of kidney failures and deaths, so I agreed to allow them to give it to her. It is a decision that I will regret for the rest of my life. After she was given Remdesivir, mom started to decline. My sister and I couldn’t get her to talk on the phone anymore. She wasn't responsive. She had kidney failure. The hospital put her on dialysis, but I was told that it was not working. A different doctor, who called to tell me about her kidney failure, was pushing me really hard to send her to hospice care. He said that she would never be the same. I kept wondering why he was pushing so hard for hospice care and was thinking that people survive with dialysis. I think he was trying to get rid of her to hide the evidence that their drug was causing organ failure.

They Put Her on a Vent

“No one was allowed to visit her in the hospital.”

They told me that her oxygen levels were low, so they put her on a vent, which I now know is contraindicated for Covid patients. At the time, I did not know this. They later told me that they were trying to “wake her up”, but she wouldn’t and they didn’t know why. No one was allowed to visit her in the hospital, so my sister called and talked to her, while a nurse held the phone to mom’s ear, to try to get her to wake up. She didn’t respond.

Late on February 18, 2021, a doctor called to tell me that mom’s heart had stopped beating. He told me that they had got it beating it again, but it was likely to stop again. He said that resuscitation was hard on people my mother’s age and could cause injuries like rib fractures etc. He wanted to know if her heart stopped again if I wanted them to resuscitate again. Mom had told me several times that she did not ever want to go to a nursing home, and I didn't want her to live hooked up to machines and tubes indefinitely, so I said no. They called a few hours later to say that her heart stopped again and she died.

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