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Eric and Mary Jean were married for 30 years. He was active and enjoyed surfing and golf. Eric loved his family, God and his country. He had 2 grandchildren with another on the way. Before Eric passed away his daughter told him that she was naming her daughter (Erica) after him. Eric tested negative in the ICU and told them that he did not want Remdesivir. They gave him Remdesivir anyway and he started to decline. The timeline of events is listed below. These were taken from the notes that Mary Jean diligently kept as she advocated for her husband while he was isolated.
Eric K. Bega – Died: November 22, 2021
11/10/21 – Eric goes to the hospital.
I called 911 for an ambulance to pick up Eric, my husband, because his oxygen levels had been low all day and he finally agreed to be taken to the hospital. He specifically told the EMT that he did not want to be given Remdesivir so the EMT wrote it down on a piece of paper.
11/11/21 – Day 1 in the ICU
8:45 am – Called in to ICU. I asked the receptionist if she was aware of my husband’s wishes not to be given Remdesivir and she said, “Yes, he told them.” Nurse Matt said he was switched to a hi-flow nasal cannula with 100% oxygen; same O2 saturation 86-88%. Cardiac echo was non urgent/routine. Asked the nurse if he was aware of Eric’s wishes about no Remdesivir and he said yes.
1:17 pm – We were told they did a CT scan. There was a blood clot in his lower right lung, partly came from his leg. We facetimed with him. He was on a nasal cannula and his spirits were high and upbeat. Dr. Siaw said all he needs is a high concentration of oxygen and he’ll be in the hospital for few days, he’s over Covid pneumonia and not in isolation anymore. I asked for next steps: blood thinner (prevents building the blood clot), vitals are stable (BP and HR); respiratory therapist checks on him hourly.
7:43 pm – Eric got moved to ICU Kahului wing, non-covid. They stopped hepren drops, lovenox shots are enough. Echocardiogram shows that heart looks ok. Placed on bipap, O2 level at 95%. He drank water and O2 level went down to 92%. Nurse Jasmine
11/12/21 – Requested 2nd opinion after Dr. Peach says Eric is terminal
3:45 am – We received a phone call from the ICU that Eric was placed on a nebulizer and given albuterol because his O2 went down to 82.
6:30 am – Eric called. His O2 was at 92%. He wasn’t in distress.
11:29 am – Spoke to Dr. Peach. She said Eric’s breathing was very labored, he was unlikely to get off a ventilator. Lung pockets were very damaged, small blood clots, lung problems are post Covid, 96% max support and nebulizer, too. (Dr. Peach, Nurse Jill)
I had requested for a second opinion from a pulmonologist since his condition was now a respiratory issue. I was told, “No,” by Dr. S. Peach. She went on to say that there was no pulmonologist on call and that there wouldn’t be one for another week. (That was a lie because when I spoke to the ICU Head Nurse on 11/12/21 she said a pulmonologist had seen my husband that day.)
In addition, Dr. Peach said that she’s better than the specialist because she is an intensivist and has had experience working with Covid patients, even though my husband was no longer identified as a Covid patient. I had requested for high doses of Vitamin C, D3 and Zinc which they were willing to give him in pill form but he was unable to swallow them (except the first time) so I requested for it to be given through his IV.
4:00 PM – 6pm – On November 12, 2021 at about 4:00pm, my girls and I facetimed with Dr. Peach and my husband’s daytime nurse Kate. We asked many questions, one of them was to get a second opinion (#1 above). My husband did not want to go on a ventilator. Dr. Peach said he won’t last another day without going on the ventilator and we only put people on the ventilator if they’re going to die. We asked about an ECM machine and she said he’s not a candidate.
We asked about moving him to another facility that could handle his situation and she said no, they’ll follow the same protocols. We asked about a lung transplant. No. At that point, since all of our suggestions were shot down, the only option we were given was hospice care. Note: I also have multiple grave concerns with the nurses starting on this day, and I have already contacted the CNO of the hospital.
I had just gotten off facetime with my husband’s doctor, Dr. Peach, the nurse on duty who was Jill. We had a list of questions to go over with the doctor and she spent about an hour trying to answer them while in my husband’s room. Doctor had to end the call because she had to finish her rounds. Immediately after that, I got a phone call from Taryn Pacheco, who said she was the head ICU nurse and had been in that position for 11 years. Not sure why she had to tell me this. She was told that I had questions for her. I never once asked to speak to her but since I had her on the line I proceeded to go down my list of questions that I had asked the doctor.
The first was that we had requested a second opinion regarding my husband’s condition so why were we denied it? She said, “He was seen by a specialist today.” I started to get very upset because we had been asking for a specialist and was told there wasn’t one on duty. I felt that I was lied to so I raised my voice at her to which she then raised her voice at me. The conversation calmed down but the volume escalated again from both parties to which I hung up on her. If she is a nurse and has been in that position for 11 years, is it part of her normal course of action to yell back at families who are grieving?
I called my husband’s nurse immediately after to tell her about the call which I never initiated and said that I felt like I was being attacked. In the background I could hear Taryn screaming, “I did not attack her!” I recently looked into my husband’s hospital records and she made a notation on his personal medical record that I called her a “dumb bitch”. My daughters were here around me and they can testify that I did not say that when I hung up on her. That is fraud and I demand that action be taken immediately against her. She falsely documented words that were not said and I have witnesses.
11/13/21 – We spent the day making arrangements for hospice care.
2:15 am – Nurse Jennifer and Charge Nurse Brooke – Eric’s O2 saturation was going down. He was being given morphine (4 mg every 2 hrs.). His BP is ok; max on oxygen, HR 110.
11:11 am – Nurse Kate and Dr. Williams attending physician gave him vitamin C, D, and Zinc orally, and Budesonide.
November 13, 2021 – We spent the day making arrangements for hospice care. My two daughters were cleared to visit him for a farewell meeting. I couldn’t go because I’m in quarantine until Thursday, 11/18/21 for testing positive. My husband told my girls that he didn’t want to go to hospice and that he wanted to hang on until Friday so he could see me. They spent several hours with him and at one point, my daughter asked him to clarify his wishes.
Did he want to just hang on till Friday or fight this and walk out of the hospital? He told her he wanted to fight and walk out. My daughter then informed the nurse who came into the room but the nurse did not seek confirmation from the patient, nor did she follow up with a call to the doctor. With every new nurse and doctor that took care of my husband thereafter, we always informed them of his updated wishes. They acted surprised which means his charts hadn’t been updated.
I’m surprised that neither the doctors nor the nurses followed up with us or him despite every conversation we had included his updated wishes. He was still able to converse on Sunday, 11/14/21.
11/14/2021 – Morphine and Precedex
6:52 AM – Night Nurse Jennifer – According to the nurse, he was doing okay. He was still getting the morphine (2mg/4 hours). I asked if she could give him 1 mg as needed. She also gave him precedex drip to calm him down. He slept.
12:58 PM – Day Nurse Kai – Eric still on precedex. He was given a minimum dose of 0.2 microgram/hr, she said he was very comfortable with that dose. Eric tolerated being turned on the bed. His O2 was good at 93%. He didn’t receive any morphine, only 1-4 mg as needed and his last dose was at 7:00am. He had a good nap from 10am – 12 noon. She tried giving him vitamin C, D, and zinc in pill form but unsuccessful. Urine output was ok, vitals great, Budesonide at 9:00am twice a day.
11/15/2021 – No such thing as vitamin IV?
11:45 am, Dr. Giammanco, the Hospitalist, said he will check on it if it’s available. I did not receive any follow up from Dr. Giammanco about the pharmacy request.
5:17pm. Dr. Halvorson, the pulmonologist stated that “there’s no such thing as vitamin C, D and zinc in IV form, that it doesn’t exist”.
11/16/2021 – Department of Health Decides whether I can see my husband
Shelley Platiro (Social Worker) called to say that she received an email that stated my quarantine was over (4 days early) and was approved by the DOH to see my husband and she was told to call me. 3:30 Shelley called back to say no I couldn’t go, she jumped the gun. 4:19 Shelley calls back to say now it’s official and I can see my husband today, are you coming? I asked her who was approving this and she said she was reading an extensive email thread that included the Director of Inpatient Nursing and Infection Control.
She advised me to call the Assistant manager at ICU so I did. (Concern #2 for the CNO). She said that “they” got ahold of DOH to push up my quarantine lift date so that they could honor my husband’s wishes to see me before he passes. Their idea was to wheel him down to the courtyard because it had to be a visit outside, but that there was a possibility he wouldn’t make it during the transport because he wouldn’t be on the Bipap machine. How does one say that you want to honor someone’s dying wishes yet you may die in transport? And who is “they”? Who is making these decisions to determine when my husband dies?
We check on my husband’s vitals several times during the day. We ask for his FIO2, O2 saturation, amount of morphine and presodex given, vitals. We usually get good report from the nurses despite being on 100% for his Bipap. We get constantly told that the FIO2 is at 100%. We’ve asked the doctors and nurses if they have a plan for weaning him off and we have yet to hear of a concrete plan for weaning him off the Bipap.
On 11/17/21 – Contradictory Information
I asked the night nurse what the FIO2 level was and she said on 11/16/21 at 4:30 “they” had lowered it to 95% with his O2 sat at 100% and off of presodex. At 5:00pm, she said they dropped the FIO2 to 90% with O2 sat at 100% and off presodex. At 5:30pm, FIO2 was down to 85% with O2 sat at 100% until midnight. Then, sometime after that in the middle of the night, the doctor decides to lower it to 75% and his O2 sat decreased to 85%. She gave him 2 doses of morphine at 2mg each at 11/16/21 at 11:43 pm and 11/17/21 at 12:41.
This information from the nurse contradicts what Dr. Halvorson told us during a call we had on 11/16/21 at 6:10 pm. Dr. Halvorson said they tried to lower his FIO2 but his O2 sat would drop. According to the nurse, it dropped when it was brought down to 75%. My question is what is the logic behind decreasing the Bipap by 25% given the weak lungs of my husband. Weaning means to be done slowly, and why in the middle of the night when he should be resting?
12:44 PM – (Dr. Peach and Dr. Jeff Rosett – intensivist) – I spoke to Dr. Peach. She said that on 11/16/21, at 4:00pm, they lowered the FIO2 to 80%, then at 6:00pm lowered it to 75% which caused my husband to be restless so they restarted sedation. Another contradiction from the nurses report in #6 above. At this point, I’ve stopped mentioning the nurses report because red flags are flying all around me. I asked why all the way down to 75% when he can’t handle it and she said she wanted to see if he could handle it so she could insert a feeding tube. He has never handled 75% for his FIO2.
Continuing on with the phone call, after seeing how successful my husband was with the FIO2 even a few percentages lower, I asked Dr. Peach at 12:44pm to consider keeping his FIO2 at 90% for the day since he did so well. She seemed to agree with me. but when I called in the evening to speak to the night doctor, Dr. Jeff Rosette, the intensivist, he said they had his FIO2 down to 75% at noon, but it started it 100%, then 80%, then 75% and back to 100% because he was agitated. Again, why the 20% decrease?
In this same conversation with Dr. Peach I asked about doing another ABG test since the last test was done at the beginning of his stay at the hospital and she said it won’t change anything. How can one compare progress if you don’t have at least another set of data to look at? After speaking to the night nurse, however, Dr. Peach did order an ABG test after all.
4:24pm – I contacted the Chief Nursing Executive yesterday, November 17, 2021 at 4:24pm and spoke to her assistant. As of now, I have not heard back. I spoke to the Patient Relations department this morning about the other grave concerns regarding my husband’s care. I have not heard back. I have tried to contact the hospital’s patient advocacy hotline (left 3 messages since yesterday).
8:19pm – At, I asked to speak to the nurse but she was with another patient so I asked to speak to Dr. Rosette. As the medical surrogate for my husband, and again from past experience, I made a request to please not move his FIO2 any lower than a 90% so that he can rest tonight. This was his reply after I said I’m writing it down in my notes, “You can write down as many notes as you want. I find it insulting when you make a request like that. You are not allowed to tell me what to do because you are not a medical professional.” My 21 year old daughter was sitting right next to me.
We keep asking for a plan to help him get better. There appears to be no plan for recovery. The only plan seems to be to rush to get him to die. Marian Horikawa – Chief Nurse Executive
6:03 am – I spoke to my husband’s night nurse this morning at 6:03 am. According to the night nurse, Nurse Jasmine, my husband was able to stay on a high flow cannula with a mask and maintain his oxygen levels in the 90’s overnight. He slept from about 10:00 – 3:00. His vitals were good.
10:30 AM – Here’s an update from my most recent phone conversation with Dr. Halvorson.
After talking to the doctor, she said he had a rough spell just now so they put him back on the Bipap and was able to bring his O2 sat back to the 90’s. I replied that it’s great that he was able to maintain those numbers for an extended period of time. She replied, “I don’t think it’s promising to have a saturation of 65%.” So, I reiterated that it’s promising that he was able to maintain 90% O2 saturation on the high flow cannula overnight. Silence on her end. Then, she said, “I think what we’re seeing is that he’s very dependent on the bipap.” Obviously, he can handle a high flow cannula and is only dependent when his numbers go down because the doctor continues to lower the oxygen flow knowing that his lungs are weak. That, in my opinion, is not how to wean a patient who has weak lungs.
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