An Alabama man died of cardiac arrest nearly 200 miles from his home after being turned away from more than 40 hospitals whose intensive care units were fully occupied by Covid-19 patients.
The family of Ray Martin DeMonia – who died on September 1, three days before his 74th birthday – have now called on people to take their Covid-19 vaccines to ease the strain on the healthcare system and free up resources for people unrelated to Covid. emergency room.
Her family said when DeMonia suffered a heart attack late last month, they contacted 43 hospitals in three states but couldn’t find a single available intensive care bed. They eventually found him a place at the Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi, which is over 200 miles from his Alabama home.
In an obituary for DeMonia, the family urged others to “please get vaccinated.” The family wrote, “He wouldn’t want another family to go through what he did.”
His family added that DeMonia, a resident of Cullman, Alabama, was well known for running “DeMonia’s Antiques and Auctions, where he spent 40 years in the antique trade and traveled the country collecting antiques and sharing his wealth. of knowledge “.
Alabama is among the US states facing an increase in hospitalizations linked to Covid-19. Scott Harris, chief of the Alabama public health department, told media that although the increase in hospitalizations in Alabama appears to have “stabilized,” he maintained that “there are still more patients. who need intensive care than available beds “.
Mr. Harris told reporters, “We continue to have a real crisis in Alabama with our intensive care bed capacity.” He added that there were about 60 more intensive care patients than there were beds open in the state last week.
Danne Howard, deputy director of the Alabama Hospital Association, said the state was in dire straits. She said: “I can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we’re definitely not ripping in the right direction.
“We are not throwing in the towel, but it is a dire and serious situation,” she said.
According to data compiled by the Washington Post, nearly 2,800 people in the state were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Sunday, including 768 in intensive care.
Only 40% of Alabama citizens are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the latest data. The state has the fourth lowest vaccination rate among any state in the country.
Meanwhile, DeMonia’s family said he suffered a stroke in April last year, but were able to find treatment in three hours at a Birmingham hospital ‘without Covid’. DeMonia himself was eventually also vaccinated.
His family said, “Ray was a great, great man, loved and respected by many. “
The United States has recorded more than 40.6 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 655,800 deaths. With the Delta variant soaring, several states have struggled with hospital bed crises in recent months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alabama has one of the highest rates of new Covid-19 cases in the country with around 541 per 100,000 people testing positive for the virus in the past seven days.
The CDC says that during that time, 259 people died.
President Joe Biden will also announce “new measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting,” according to surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy. He did not specify what those steps would be.
The next session of the General Assembly opens on Tuesday.
The Independent Gt