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A day after a woman’s public appeal to help her husband find an ECMO machine to save his life, a father in Texas died of COVID-19.

Reed Hickson, 49, father of 12 from College Station, died Monday. He is among nearly 63,000 people who have died from the virus in Texas, according to data from the New York Times.

“My little brother Reed was called home last night, leaving behind a legacy of true love and greatness, his family of 12 beautiful children and his wonderful soul mate,” Samuel Hickson said on Facebook Tuesday of his brother.

Gina Robnett Hickson, Reed Hickson’s wife of 29 years, said on Sunday that he needed a hospital bed with ECMO capabilities.

ECMO machines, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, are in limited supply in many parts of the country, McClatchy News reported. The machines work as a procedure of last resort against the virus by replacing the function of the heart and lungs by sucking blood out of the body, pushing it through an artificial lung that supplies it with oxygen, and then returning it to the body. heart.

“It was stable for a few days, then it started to decline steadily. We’ve had, I can’t tell you how many people tried to save his life and tried to get an ECMO machine, a hospital that had a bed with one, ”Gina Robnett Hickson told KTBX.

Family friend Dr Andy Wilson told the TV station they traveled to Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma and Florida to find the machine before it died on Monday. Only some hospitals are equipped to transport ECMO machines because they require a specially trained team of healthcare workers, McClatchy News reported.

Reed Hickson’s battle with COVID-19 began about a month ago and included a 10-day hospital stay and two additional intensive care admissions, his wife said. Most of the family members also caught the virus but had mild forms, she told KTBX.

Putting the family patriarch on a ventilator “was his only chance to stay alive,” the wife said on Facebook a day before her death. It is not known if the father was vaccinated.

Reed Hickson, a Texas A&M graduate who has worked for the past 10 years at MHSC Energy, leaves behind 12 children: Cayla, Mason, Leiah, Connor, Reece, Lily, Morgan, Lance, Chase, Hensley, Casen and Ryker, according to a GoFundMe.

“I’ll never forget Gina who brought Reed to our prom and we all think they were Ken and Barbie in real life,” said Gina Hickson’s best friend Kristi Deatherage Johnson. “Gina married him that summer.”

A classmate of Reed Hickson in high school remembered him as “a very nice person who always had a big smile to lend to everyone.”

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