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Carlene's Story

Minneapolis, Minnesota

My father was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corp on Iwo Jima.

Carl Perpich. He is my hero; I miss him so much.

He Needed His Blood Checked

"We waved goodbye, he was not on oxygen, he was coherent and waving at us."

My 99-year-old Father an Iwo Jima survivor was put in a Covid unit and did not have it. He was first refused treatment at Waconias Ridgeview hospital ER after 8 hrs. However, they did give him blood and fluids which was a regular treatment for him throughout the years for elderly leukemia and put him on oxygen mask. He never was diagnosed for this because of harsh testing. The community hospital in Waconia could not handle him they said he was in crisis. And told us to take him elsewhere. A Doctor from both hospitals spoke about Dad but we never received a call. They also took a Covid test and lost it we found out later. The Minneapolis VA would not take him due to masks. So, we took him to Abbott Northwestern to see a hematologists and urologist and followed him 40 minutes there behind a ambulance with my sister Chris.

My sister Chris was his power of attorney and he lived with her for 5 years. She was told by Ridgeview that she would be able to be with him. Of course, different story when we got there. They asked us who told us that. We were outside of hospital in parking lot waiting for someone to call for 3 hours. My father could get confused with no one there. We have been with him in hospitals before and because he was quite active, we always had someone with him because he would pull out IVs and try to get out of bed. We found him on the bathroom floor bleeding at a hospital in a prior stay. And they said they would watch him closely. Always an issue for us in hospital stays. Plus, he would be roaming around the halls. We hated taking him in because they never watched him close enough even with all the bells and whistles.

We finally got a hold of the charge nurse 3 hours later and she told us he was in the Covid unit. They had taken another test and he did not have Covid and put him in palliative care. When we last saw him, he was motioning for us to come and he usually was trying to say get me out of here. He had even asked the attendant to hold his hand we were told. He was responding well to us, my sister and me, when last saw him. We were furious when no one called us after those 3 hours. We had left messages to call us. So, when they call, did I demanded to talk to the Doctor and asked if he pulled out his I V as this is a usual occurrence for him if left alone. Doctor Paz said yes and no. I said what you are saying is yes, and you will closely watch him. I was told later by the nurse he pulled it out again.

They Starved Him to Death

Later when we looked at charts and we saw he must have become agitated with them as his numbers were all over. They told us he is not going to make it and wanted to put him on palliative care after test results came in. We begged them to give him nutrition, they did not, they starved him to death. He never had kidney issues and because he was elderly it was always an issue to get help for him.

All the Doctors and nurses said all of Minnesota suffers because of Covid. We were able to see his charts before they scrubbed them after he died. And in a 3-hour window, we could see how his oxygen levels went from 100% to 88%, and the blood pressure he had changed which was normally low went high. We believe he became agitated at this crucial time as he was regaining his strength from fluids and blood, and he put up a fight. The charts also said he did become agitated and probably struggled to get out of bed there which was something he did often in a hospital setting.

At 7 pm when he got there numbers radically changed and by 10 pm everything changed. From what we saw they put him on a Bepak mask and sedated him. They took him out of ICU Covid and put him in palliative care after we demanded to get him out of the Covid unit. He was not being treated until a few days later for blood issues. We were not able to talk to him for 5 days. We did speak with him with the nurse's iPhone and Face Timed him on Thursday. We did contact people in the government and believe they began to put pressure on the hospital. The hospital said his dementia was worsening. He knew us immediately when saw him on FaceTime.

The plan then was to get him home, but we could see he was not ready and that was when things got strange. At first, we were excited thinking they would let us take him home. However, they told us his heart was 25 percent and everything was failing. Now we would only let us see him if dying for 2 hours and only 2 people at a time... and there were 3 of us. We went in after receiving a call he was dying and to our amazement, he was alert but found out they gave him chopped-up pills in a feeding tube. He had dysphasia and couldn’t swallow at this point. I asked them why they would do that and the nurse practitioner explained in this case it was not as strong as the liquid.

The Kept Us Away

Like many other families in this situation, we just wanted to be with him. We all had been quarantined staying home, no fevers and taking precautions. I realized that the first night in the parking lot thinking about what just happened with our Dad. We would never see him again because he was now exposed to Covid so we could not take him home. That reality hit me, like what did we just do.

We waited out in car in a parking lot for over a week and they finally let us in at the end. He did recognize us and I believe he went unconscious and died in front of us. They wanted to know what time we were coming and when we did arrive a few minutes later, his blood pressure dropped way low 59/64. I believe they dialed it up to make his pressure rise. Dr. Paz said "Sorry but he is not responding to the treatment." This was almost as soon as we got to the ICU to see him. We stayed with him until they told us to leave as we had stayed longer than 2 hours (1 to 6:00). They told us they broke hospital rules for us and we could see they were short of staff. They were not watching him I feel. Two hours later called us and said he was failing we demanded to come in and they let us.

We were able to be with him 2 hours before he died. I don’t know what they were doing but they gave him some shot and his body swelled up and he passed. We stayed 2 hours on the dot as they made us leave. I know he was dead then and 2 hours later they called us and said he passed away and they asked if we wanted an autopsy. No, we replied. I believe the first time we were there he died when they gave him crushed pills and he was not able to swallow, plus his heart was never a health issue. I get 99 years old, but something was strange about all of this. What is the difference between being with him when responding for 2 hours or being with him when dying? We all had been quarantined for a long time including my father. We had no fever.

He Was My Hero

“I made sure they did not put Covid on his death certificate.”

My father was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corp on Iwo Jima. He played basketball until he was 84. He wasn’t on any meds but at times was low on blood so we would bring him in for IV’s. He would get up dancing with the nurses.

My Father fought for freedom for this country and was deprived like many not to be with precious family. I made sure they did not put Covid on his death certificate. My family has been traumatized by the inhuman treatment he received. We feel because of his age attorneys aren’t interested in helping us.

My father passed away on Mother’s Day. Ironically that day was special to our family because we lost our Mom to cancer in 1983. My Dad never got over that and he was buried a few weeks later on what would of been his 100th birthday. He is my hero, I miss him so much.

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