Julie T.'s Story

Lynchburg, VA

I wish someone would have warned me that hospitals were the last place you should let your loved one go if they have COVID.

He had never had any health issues before he came to the hospital.

Sick But Doing Better

“They said they thought he was through the worst of it and prescribed him some medication for chest congestion.”

My father, Roger, has always been very active. He loved the outdoors and working in the yard. He had just turned 77 years old at the time he got sick. It all started on January 22nd. My dad had not been feeling well but it sounded more like fatigue and stomach issues. He said he was feeling better the next day so I didn't think anything of it.


A few days later his friend thought he needed to go to the doctor since he was still sick. They tested him for COVID and he came back positive. They said they thought he was through the worst of it and prescribed him some medication for chest congestion, etc. He said he was going to go home to quarantine.


I talked to him Monday, January 31st and he said that he still wasn't feeling good. By the next day, his friend said that he should go back to the doctor and suggested the ER. He went to the doctor, which tested his oxygen saturation level and it was in the 70s. They wanted to transport him to the Lynchburg General Hospital. By the time the ambulance arrived, his oxygen saturation levels were back in the 90s. Since no one was allowed to go into the hospital with him, I called that night to find out that he was still waiting on a room and sitting in the ER. I called again the next morning and was able to talk to him. He had just gotten a room and sounded much better. He said they were cleaning out his throat and he felt good. I was very relieved.


Put On The Ventilator


I called back the next day to talk to him again and they said he was unable to talk because his oxygen needs had increased and he was now on a CPAP. I was still unable to go see him. By the time my brother called 3 hours later, they had put him on a ventilator. They never called and asked us - never mentioned it when I had called 3 hours earlier that was a possibility. The next day the doctor called and said he was tolerating the ventilator well but that patients like these wax and wane.


On Saturday, the doctor said that they were trying to wean him off the ventilator but that he wasn't ready and they would try again tomorrow. On Sunday, the doctor called and said that he had taken a turn for the worse and now had pneumonia. I asked if it was COVID pneumonia or Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia. They said they couldn't tell.


Worth Saving

“They kept asking if he was worth saving because of his age and kept pushing for us to put a DNR on him.”

After that, it was a constant rollercoaster. One day we should be planning his funeral - the next day he was doing better. We were not able to see him until 20 days after he tested positive, which was February 16th. By the time we were able to see him, we could tell he was bad off. They never brought him out of sedation. We were never able to speak to him again. Just talked to him in a drug induced coma. The whole time he was there (for 35 days) they kept asking if he was worth saving because of his age and kept pushing for us to put a DNR on him.


We talked to palliative care on March 3rd and told them to keep doing everything they could. We at least wanted to give him another week. Two days later they called and said he was dying - the cause was septic shock. So not only did they give him an infection - they let it develop into sepsis - then turn into septic shock. He passed away on Saturday, March 5th.


I am trying to get his medical records because I am pretty sure they administered Remdesivir to him on the Wednesday he arrived, which is why he took a turn for the worse. He was constantly full of fluid when we were able to see him and his kidneys had begun to fail before he died as well. He had never had any health issues before he came to the hospital. I wish someone would have warned me that hospitals were the last place you should let your loved one go if they have COVID.


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