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Janet L.'s Story

Pittsburgh, PA

He informed us, “I already put my neck on the line to prescribe vitamins.”..... “it’s not the hospital Covid protocol.”

He stands across the bed and he doesn't even look at me. Dad's blood is on his hands.

We Thought He Was In Good Hands

“She felt confident that Dad was in good hands and would be home in a day or two.”

My Dad, Gary (Chief), was killed on 21st of January 2022, when his rights to safe and effective treatments were denied by his “trusted” doctor following a hospital Covid-protocol that suppressed effective treatments. My family advocated for medications that greatly improved symptoms for my husband, our friends, and acquaintances, within a 24-hour period. These low-cost medications are doctor prescribed in other states(and countries) and have been used safely for decades. We received no medical reason that my Dad should not have these FDA-approved, doctor prescribed meds. My Dad lived in Pennsylvania, a “Right to Try” state, but for him it was a “Rights Denied” state.

On New Year’s Day, Dad and Mom were feeling sick so they rested, stayed hydrated, and increased their supplements. Mom felt better within 5 days, while Dad had no appetite and was tired. His home test was negative so he continued to rest, hydrate, take his vitamins, and monitor oxygen levels.

On January 10th, Dad went to the UPMC Passavant ER. He was tested for Covid, the flu, and pneumonia. He was administered IV-fluids, given a breathing treatment, and bullied by the staff regarding the experimental injection. He was Covid-positive and diagnosed with Covid-pneumonia so they admitted him to “treat the infection and monitor your breathing”. When my sister spoke with Dad that night he was hungry, he was feeling better after receiving fluids, and was tired. Dad & Mom were relieved to see Dad’s pulmonologist, from the past 5 years, was a member of his care team. I was living in Alabama and upon learning Dad was admitted, I asked Mom if she needed me to come home. She felt confident that Dad was in good hands and would be home in a day or two.

Rest His Lungs

Dad had a good night but, on Tuesday, they moved him to the ICU to “monitor his oxygen levels more closely”. Due to the ICU rules, Dad was permitted to have 2 visitors for up to one hour. When mom visited he asked her to take him home. The next day, Mom reports Dad had another good night but his doctor moved him to a bi-pap. He asked to go home again. There is little communication with Dad during this time because there is no phone in his room and he sent his cell phone home with Mom. On the morning of 13 January, Mom was informed that Dad is on the ventilator. His doctor shares that Dad was agitated, he tried removing the bi-pap during the night and they needed to “rest his lungs.” My Mom & sister visited Dad.

Denial Of Safe And Effective Treatment

“I read over the hospital Covid protocol and was disappointed to see Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, High Dose IV-Vitamins, N-acetylcysteine ~ NAC and others on the list of medications not on their protocol.”

I flew out later that afternoon and landed in Pittsburgh by 11PM. While waiting on my flight, I called UPMC from the airport and talked to Dad’s nurse. I inquired about the medications Dad is receiving. He's not on Remdisivir. I asked about Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine. He informed me Dad is not on either medications because there are no FDA-approved Covid treatments. I agreed there are no approved Covid treatments but disagreed that there are no safe & effective treatments for Covid. I share my husband’s Covid pneumonia recovery story and the medications he received in the Alabama ER. Phil received Ivermectin, Azithromycin, Dexamethasone, a cough expectorant, and zofran. Dad is receiving Dexamethasone along with his regular prescriptions. His nurse seemed curious about Phil’s recovery and said she would pass the medication information on to Dad’s care team. I was hopeful and believed his doctors just didn’t know the effective treatments.

On Friday, 14 January, Mom & I arrived at the hospital shortly before rounds. We are invited to hear Dad’s report. I’m scolded for asking questions and his doctor will meet with us when he’s done. The nurse took us to visit with Dad, notified me of the procedures, offered to answer my questions, and provided me with their Covid protocol handout. After our hour with Dad, Mom & I waited for his doctor to finish rounds. I read over the hospital Covid protocol and was disappointed to see Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, High Dose IV-Vitamins, N-acetylcysteine ~ NAC and others on the list of medications not on their protocol. I have since heard that monoclonal antibodies were rationed early January 2022 and patients have to qualify for this treatment now. We later learn the 6 mg dose of Dexamethasone, is an anemic dose and probably wasn’t doing much for him either.

Low Chance Of Survival

“According to Dad’s doctor, “vitamins don’t work.””

Dad’s doctor was on the defensive when he joined us in the waiting area and informed us that “I cannot and will not prescribe Ivermectin for your Dad.” Mom asks me to share my husband’s Covid recovery story and I press him for a medical reason why he can’t prescribe this medication. He doesn’t give us one. Instead, we were told “It’s not the hospital Covid protocol”, they “would lose their license if they prescribe anything not on the protocol”, and they “won’t prescribe anything that could be potentially harmful to a patient”. I asked if there is a prescription drug that could be more harmful than death. We asked him to explain how an inexpensive drug that has been used safely for decades, is a 2x nobel prize winner, and is on the NIH essential medicine list is now harmful to cv-patients. He didn't answer and seemed agitated. They were not even prescribing vitamins and according to Dad’s doctor, “vitamins don’t work”. We still advocate for Vitamin C, Vitamin D and zinc.

We inquired about Hydroxychloroquine and the other effective medications on the list of treatments they will not provide. We asked him to explain how an inexpensive drug that has been used safely for decades by the military and repurposed for patients to treat chronic illnesses is potentially harmful for Covid patients. He can’t. Dad’s doctor insulted my intelligence, informed me that “with every question you ask me and the nurses, you are taking care away from your Dad and the other ICU patients”, and told us to “forget about all the information you researched and spend time with your Dad.” We’re told that, surprisingly, “Gary is handling the vent well because we usually see a steady decline within the first 12 hours.” He also shared that he believes Dad “has a 25% chance of walking out of the hospital.” We ask if his chances of leaving are so low why wouldn’t he try everything possible to save his life? He tells us “if you want Gary to have any medications not on the protocol you need to file for a court order and hire a nurse to administer the drugs.” I remind him he is the doctor. He also encourages us to “think about what Gary would want” and he tells us that “as an ICU doctor, I would never choose to be vented.” Doctors have prescribed FDA-approved medications, off label, for decades, and we know what worked for my husband!

Lies And Unrest

As we leave the hospital, Mom and I realize this is worse than the doctors not knowing what works, they are not allowed to break protocol. Dad is in trouble and we have to figure out how to get him effective treatments. Mom agreed but was worried our efforts will impact Dad’s quality of care. Over the next 7 days, we continue to advocate for Dad but are unsuccessful. On 17 January, we're told that Dad’s Covid pneumonia has cleared and he’s dealing with inflammation now. We ask if Dad can receive Ivermectin now since it's approved for inflammation. He informed us, “I already put my neck on the line to prescribe vitamins.” I’m confused, and ask why he would need to put his neck on the line to give my Dad vitamins? He tells us, “It’s not the hospital covid protocol.” Dad received his vitamins after sitting in the hospital for 7-days. His records show that on the 16th & 17th, he received 2-500mg vitamin c tablets by mouth, daily, while vented. Medical professionals I’ve shared this information with have said it’s not possible for a vented patient to receive medication orally unless it’s in a gastric tube. If this is documented incorrectly, are there other inaccuracies?

On 18 January, Dad had a fever and they ran tests. We’re told they’re doing everything they can. In reviewing Dad's records, this is the day he receives antibiotics for his 3-hospital acquired infections. He never received any medication to treat his pneumonia. The following day, Dad remained stable with little improvement. It felt as if we’re just waiting for him to die. On 20 January, we learned the cause of Dad’s fever. He has 3 hospital acquired infections, one of which one is sepsis. Mom shared a story of a friend's sepsis recovery with dialysis and asked if this is an option for Dad. We’re told “he doesn’t qualify because his kidneys are functioning.” We’re told we “need to consider comfort care and think about what Gary would want.” His doctor encouraged us to take Dad off the vent and let him go. This is the day the rules no longer applied and we’re no longer limited to 1 hr visits. We spent the day with Dad.

A Premature Goodbye

“According to Dad’s doctor, “vitamins don’t work.””

On 21 January, Mom, my sister and I visited Dad and infused him with peace, love and light. Dad was stable. When we arrive home, Mom has 2 messages from the hospital. She learns that Dad’s vitals have been unstable. The doctor asks for a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). He explains that Dad’s infections have caused damage beyond repair and performing CPR would only cause more. We don’t want Dad suffering or alone, so we go back to the hospital. We sit with Dad and time passes. At 8:28pm, my Dad’s heart stopped. The first man I ever loved has left his earthly body. I was numb. My heart has shattered into a billion pieces. We were able to stay as long as we wanted. The monitors are disconnected and Dad’s doctor comes in. He hugs Mom and offers condolences. I must have been invisible because he didn't say a word to me. He stands across the bed and he doesn't even look at me. Dad's blood is on his hands.

I never imagined this would be my family's reality; Dad was an Army Veteran, loving husband of 52 years, father, beloved Pappap to 5 grandchildren, brother, uncle, and friend. He was a gentle giant and one of the best guys in the universe.

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