El Paso, TX
Shame on this hospital administration. This is a crime against humanity.
My dad would be with us today if they had allowed my mom to be with him from day one.
Sent Home to Get Worse
“They said that since he wouldn’t take Remdesivir there was nothing they could do for him.”
My dad loved life. He loved people. He’s one of those guys who, when he’s gone…it’s felt by his community. At 69 years as of December 2nd, he was working 10 hour days, by choice. When my dad got sick, he hid how he really felt until he couldn’t hide it anymore. He was on Ivermectin, prescribed by his doctor, but I could never figure out why he wasn’t taking Hydroxychloroquine and Budesonide. I did ask about those medications, but his doctor hadn't prescribed them. My mom contacted his doctor for the Budesonide. They said they'd call it in, but two days later, my dad still didn't have it. He got worse.
On December 12th, my mom and sister took him to Providence Memorial Transmountain Campus in El Paso, TX. They sent him home with an oxygen tank. They said that since he wouldn’t take Remdesivir there was nothing they could do for him, and to come back if he got worse.
On December 14th I got that horrible phone call. My dad tried to go get a referral for Regeneron Monoclonal Antibodies from a nearby urgent care. Upon arrival, they said he had to go to the hospital via ambulance because his oxygen saturation was very low. He was admitted to the “Telemetry Covid Floor”. I immediately jumped on the next flight out and arrived in El Paso by late afternoon. They had not allowed my mom to see my dad since he left the urgent care. I showed up at the hospital and the fight of my life began. We kept asking why he had to be alone and they kept using Covid as the excuse. We offered to sign a waiver. They told us that it wasn’t to protect us, it was to protect the community FROM US after being around a Covid patient.
We asked for Monoclonal Antibodies and the doctor said he would order them. We would later find out that this didn’t happen. They were not ordered and even if they had been, they would not administer them to in-patients. Monoclonal Antibodies were only available on an outpatient basis. I can’t recount every single thing that happened over the next 40 days, it would be too long. I’m going to cover the most horrific moments and leave the rest, which were still bad, for another time.
Uncared For and Mistreated
We stayed at the hospital during waking hours, on FaceTime with my dad. We wanted him to know we were nearby, hoping it would help his anxiety. They tried to make us leave, we refused. The next day, when I called my dad, he told me he had been up since 4 am and he had tried to call a nurse to use the bathroom and get some coffee and water. His requests were ignored and he sat in a dark room until after 9 am. That day was horrible. His anxiety kept increasing because he was alone. He kept asking for my mom. We contacted the charge nurse and the Administrator on Duty asking for permission to see him in person. At this point, he was transferred to the ICU because his blood pressure became unstable. We were told by Dr. Rowley, the intensivist, that his prognosis was substantially worsened because he was unvaccinated. We were also informed that the reason we were unable to visit my dad in person was because we were unvaccinated.
My mom was allowed in the room only for 15 minutes while the doctor explained how my dad was going to be DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) if he was DNI (Do Not Intubate). My dad did not want intubation so they were telling us that if he didn’t agree to that he would have to be DNT. After that terrorizing conversation, my mom was forced out of the room again. My already anxious dad was back in isolation.
No dinner that night…we called the unit to ask about that and were given 3 different stories about why my dad was not fed a meal. “It was accidentally delivered to the wrong room”, “I thought he wasn’t able to eat because of a procedure tomorrow”, “I thought his dinner was chicken broth”, which he was also never given. We’d been asking that they give him chicken broth to help give him protein. We picked up food at about 8:30 pm and took it to the security desk for delivery to him.
“In their minds, it didn’t matter that having family at his bedside to advocate for him and keep his anxiety down.”
On day 3 and into day 4, my dad’s vital signs were stable. They said they were transferring him back to the “Telemetry Covid” floor. He thought he was going to get to see my sister because of her vaccination status, and seemed to be in better spirits, joking around with the nurses in his usual form. Once my sister arrived, they denied her in-person visitation. We reminded them what they said about our vaccination status and that with my sister, that issue was resolved. They changed their story again and denied vaccination status being the reason for my dad’s isolation. My dad’s anxiety rose again, so they gave him Ativan….3 times…despite his negative reaction to it. Rather than a calming effect, it agitated him resulting in panic attacks. They gave him other antipsychotic drugs as well, which we discovered through the billing statements. He was so anxious, they told us he was grabbing the nurse’s hand when she was in the room and he would calm down. They finally decided to let my mom in the room. What she found was a dark, long room with no drinking water, no television, and no soap to wash his hands.
The negative reaction to the Ativan made my dad a different person. He was pulling his mask off which was causing his oxygen level to drop. The respiratory therapist and nurses were yelling at my dad, telling him to keep his mask on. They asked him if he wanted to die, shouting that he was going to be intubated. I heard it all on FaceTime. Horrifying. My dad was inconsolable at this point. His Primary Care Doctor on his case told us that the medications that were administered to my dad would be in his system for another 12 hours. He told us that the drugs were the cause of his delirium and panic attacks. He said we’d have to intubate, his blood gasses were low because he was pulling his oxygen mask off and wouldn't keep it on. My mom was terrified. We all were. I knew once he was intubated that was it.
In their minds, it didn’t matter that having family at his bedside to advocate for him and keep his anxiety down, would be best. They preferred to medicate him instead. Not only did they give him medication, multiple times, that he had adverse reactions to, they also gave him a medication that was listed as an allergy on his records. He was dehydrated, deprived of food, isolated, and ignored because he was an “unvaccinated covid patient”.
Neglect and Malpractice
“... they had to amputate half his foot.”
My dad was intubated on that Saturday, day 5 of being in the hospital. Day 5 of us advocating from outside his room, the best we could, and begging for them to let us see him every single day. They allowed my mom to continue seeing him at this point, but when she arrived on Sunday, she noticed his left foot was cold and was concerned about a possible blood clot. Only his left foot. After notifying Dedee the nurse…my mom received warm blankets to cover my dad with. The nurse either didn’t think or didn’t care that only one of his feet was cold. This is a basic nursing assessment. The respiratory therapist came in and my mom shared with her the concerns about his foot. She felt his pulses and said they were fine. When Dr. Rowley came in that afternoon, my mom pointed out his left foot. His response was that they were looking a little "dusky" and that he would order a doppler test. This was late afternoon.
My mom left about 9 pm and when she came back the next day, the doppler still had not been done, but my dad’s foot was purple. After my mom discovered the purple foot, she took a photo of it and sent it to me. I called the AOD (Administrator On Duty) and questioned why 18 hours had gone by and the doppler had still not been performed. I let her know my dad’s foot was purple. The doppler was done shortly after that, and they put my dad on Heparin and then told us he would need a procedure done in the cath lab to break up the clot. At that point, my mom was told she was no longer allowed in the room. Why? Because she caught medical negligence? We were then told we were being limited to 2 update calls per day. As our calls began, we found out by talking with nurses that most of them were traveling nurses. Very few on staff. We also could not depend on them to call us at our appointed times and found we had to call over and over to reach anyone.
That procedure for the clot did not happen for another 24 hours. The color returned to my dad’s foot, but a couple of days later, gangrene was identified and they had to amputate half his foot. We kept asking, why was this situation not handled urgently? Why so many delays? Was it not important? Why can’t my mom be in the room anymore? How does this make sense?
There are many more details of our horrific experience at Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, too much to cover in this article. I’m going to skip now to what happened at the end.
They would do these “sedation vacations” and “spontaneous awakening trials” without his family at his bedside. Imagine…you are already terrified of hospitals and you are out cold because of high sedation...then they wake you up. Wouldn’t you freak out too? My dad’s vital signs would go nuts and they would tell us he is not tolerating the tests which would bring him off the vent. I repeated over and over that if they would allow us in the room, he would do better. They refused. We already know it’s not about Covid because they allowed my mom in the room prior.
About 2 weeks before he died, we finally got an attorney and had a demand letter written, which got us in the room, within 24 hours. We discovered filthy floors, a room that had not been cleaned for 36 days. We spoke with housekeeping and they told us that they were not allowed to clean his room because of “covid”. There was urine on the floor, other fluids, dirt, and who knows what else. This is the same room they did a bedside tracheotomy in. The doctors and nurses would often tell us they were going to start some medication or do some procedure. When we’d question it, they would tell us it was the only choice we had if we didn’t want him to die. With every medication and every procedure, he declined.
They told us they had been moving him every 2 hours, but once we got into the room, we recognized that it was rare for anyone to even go in there. When they did, most often they were not moving him. He ended up with 3 bedsores.
Throughout the entire process, they would tell us how strong he was and how he was fighting, but then they’d increase sedation. They said he needed to “comply” with the vent.
Unknown infection after unknown infection would appear...I wonder why? Was it because the room hadn’t had a proper cleaning since the beginning of his stay?
They decided to change out all of his lines, including his central catheter. The central catheter is the means by which he was receiving the medications and sedatives. They were going to do it at the bedside which sounded brilliant, so he would not be put through any more stress. Next thing we know, they changed their minds. I requested the original plan stay in place with a bedside procedure. I asked both the nurse and the intensivist on duty. They refused saying it was up to the "IR Team" and they said no. They put him on a portable ventilator and when he left the room his oxygen saturations were in the 90’s. When he came back from that procedure, his saturations were high 70’s, up to 85%. This is when they had to “paralyze” him with medications. That paralytic prevented his diaphragm from moving. It paralyzed him and that was what they intended. After that, his organs began to shut down. They euthanized my dad in front of our faces.
We would ask questions throughout the entire process and their answers were simply “This is what happens with Covid.” I used to be a Registered Nurse. I never would have imagined that patients would be treated like this in an American hospital.
Lack of Humanity
“ My dad wasn’t that sick, he would have been home within a week.”
When my dad's heart finally stopped beating due to the non-existent oxygenation to his organs...due to sedation...I can't even explain how much sedation and paralytic they put him on...a PROFUSE amount...the ventilator was still on. The Ventilator was still on, moving his chest up and down. The IV pump was still infusing...without any blood circulation as his heart was no longer beating.
We stood there confused...it was 5:15 when his heart stopped but here we are, many minutes after and they are telling us they can't turn off the IV pump or ventilator until a doctor comes into the room to do so and pronounce death. I told the nurse...he died at 5:15. Please turn off the machines. She said she could not. I explained to her...not that she didn't already know this...that his arm was just going to fill with fluid because he had no circulation. She acknowledged this but said she could not turn it off. Hospital policy.
Another nurse came in and said he actually could turn the IV pump off, but not the vent. There we all stood...dad gone, his chest moving up and down...Filthy dirty, disgusting room. The nurse said it could take the doctor 1-2 hours before he would arrive to turn the machine off. I said, so he will have his chest moving in here until he gets here and he will also have his time of death pronounced much later than it actually is? She said yes and she was sorry.
My sister and I said we could turn the machine off and we told her his time of death was 5:15. They wouldn't even take his NG tube out so we could see his face fully. Nothing she could do. So on top of murdering people...they are also trying to traumatize family members to a degree you can't even understand until you live through it.
Time of death on the fake death certificate...6:55pm
My dad would be with us today if they had allowed my mom to be with him from day 1. She would have been able to tell them that he doesn’t do well with anti-depressants and they would not have given him Ativan or any other antipsychotic drugs. Had he not received those drugs, he would not have been pulling his mask off and would not have needed intubation. My dad wasn’t that sick, he would have been home within a week. Shame on this hospital administration. This is a crime against humanity.