Barboursville, West Virginia
I lost my beloved uncle Sept 7, 2021, in Huntington WV.
“Bub”— Carlton was 55 and loved by all.
“He was definitely a genius and knew how to have someone bring his visions to life.”
I lost my beloved uncle on Sept 7, 2021, in Huntington Wv. Let me tell you about ‘Bub’—Carlton. He was 55 years old, born deaf, crippled, and with cerebral palsy & autism. He worked for 20+ years at Walmart with GRACE! He absolutely adored that job. His hobbies included making prints of plans to have someone build wagons/ additions to his many wheelchairs. He was definitely a genius and knew how to have someone bring his visions to life while he couldn’t physically do things himself. Our very small and close family has always been there to care for him and recently his late mother. He has been the family’s “baby” even when we kids were born. We learned many things from him from young kids to young adults now. We learned to be patient, compassionate, and caring/loving regardless of how bad life can be. He taught us that. He had a long-term caregiver through the week/ day hours, who also passed just 4 days before my uncle from covid complications. He adored and loved that man as his own father. He was his best friend, nonetheless. I could go on and on about how awesome my uncle was and he always will be in my heart, but that’s not why I’m writing this.
In The Hospital
August 28th he was sick for going on 3 days. My mom decided it was time to get him to urgent care and be seen because he was very asthmatic & whatever he had was really getting him. He tested positive right there and was sent directly to the closest hospital (St. Mary’s Medical Center). He was then taken to the IMUC floor & put on oxygen (6liters) and was almost immediately given Ativan to calm him down. Understandable. Well, from the first night I started calling probably more often than needed, but only because I could not stress enough that someone needed to communicate with him immediately to explain his situation so it will calm him. I got the ol’ “We will look for the machine to interpret ASL for him” etc.… Well fast forward, 5 days later, he is now on BiPap, it is almost impossible to get anyone at this point to just take a damn iPad to him and let us video call to sign to him and communicate. Still, no one has even tried talking to him or using their devices to interpret in real-time. Nothing. And all while this poor baby has been throwing himself out of bed and getting irritated because he is scared and cannot HEAR!
He had bruises from falling out of bed so much. When they could have used their device to just talk to him or at the very least, let us, his family speak to him via facetime. But instead, they completely start keeping him sedated and literally strapped to the bed. Fast forward to sometime about one week of him being in there, one nurse would talk to him loudly and tell me he can hear me even though he is sedated during a facetime. Are you serious? He is DEAF … he can’t hear anyone. And another nurse told me if he were to come home since he had gotten better, he would require more help. However, his basic care is the same as he was before as in tube feeding, etc... and I said “What do you mean!? He has NEVER been tube fed?” And she just said, “Oh, so he can eat and drink on his own?” I was just completely BAFFLED! So, a week he’s been in their care and they haven’t even attempted to FEED OR GIVE HIM WATER? How the hell can this even be real!?
"We can’t say for sure what happened to cause him to aspirate."
Now, on Sept 4th he has been lowered down from Bipap to just 4 liters of oxygen and the social worker for the hospital was discussing possible discharging him to a rehab facility in the near future. September 5th, 8 am I get woke up to a call with a nurse asking for consent to intubation. He said "I don’t know and the doctor doesn’t know what exactly happened but sometime through the night he started aspirating and now has aspiration pneumonia and we will need to intubate as soon as possible. We can’t say for sure what happened to cause him to aspirate but the doctor did inform me it is not Covid related” their EXACT WORDS. So obviously we gave consent & called back for an update later to see what they know. Nothing, they didn’t know for sure anything that could have caused it. Now if you research NG tubes being put in (I even asked one of the nurses myself about this to confirm this) if that tube is incorrectly put in it can nick you and cause a GI bleed which then can result in what they call ‘aspiration pneumonia’. To me, it sounds like that is what happened. For it to not be Covid related and him not to have any history or GI bleeds before, what other possibilities could it have been?
Letting Him Go
“It made my heartbreak into a million pieces.”
On Sept 7th, we had to make the difficult decision to let him go, it was horrible and I cannot and will not ever get that experience out of my head. It made my heartbreak into a million pieces. I did contact an attorney here in West Virginia and she said no attorney will touch it because of the new law. She said she HATES the law because she has had SO many calls for the same thing happening to other families. The last thing I could do at this point is call the hospital to have them at least investigate and re-educate their nurses so that it won’t happen to someone else’s loved one.
Two months later and I have yet to get anything in the mail regarding my uncle’s death and what they have or haven’t found. I hate that he will probably never get the justice he deserves! And it kills me. I hope more and more people join and can see how awful this law is and how much we as the taxpayers NEED to get it taken out and let these families get some justice or some financial support for the unpredictable loss, they have endured because of negligence by most of these hospitals and their worn-out, underpaid staff.