Harry, age 80, was a beloved husband and father. On 11/30/21 he was recovering from surgery and developed a cough. By 12/5/21, he had developed a high fever and went to the ER where he was diagnosed with Covid. and with oxygen, Harry went home on 12/7/21. Harry also suffered from vascular dementia. Unbeknownst to his wife, he had been given Remdesivir for 2 days. She couldn’t go in and stop the Remdesivir treatments during his initial hospitalization. Harry, at home, was on 3L of oxygen. During that time his daughter, Jennifer and his wife were both diagnosed with Covid as well.
For a few days, Harry seemed to be improving, if just a little each day. On 12/12/21, Sunday, his oxygen plummeted to low 80s, hi 70s. Harry was admitted to the hospital that day. Thus began the arduous task for the family to find out what was happening to Harry, how he was being treated, and what his status was each day. Jenn called several times a day but there was no help from the nurses on duty. They were always “too busy”. Of great concern to Jenn was the proper care of his catheter which was to be changed every 6 hours and was a specific type for Harry’s medical needs.
Jenn did not give up, checking in each day on her dad. Of course, he was not permitted to see his daughter or wife until they tested negative for Covid. Harry had been given monoclonal antibodies, Jenn learned, and he seemed to start to improve.
12/18/21 was the last day they had heard from Harry. Finally the next day, his wife was able to visit him. By then, according to his medical records, nutrition and meds had been stopped. His wife was shocked by what she saw. Harry kept repeating, “Thirsty, thirsty, thirsty”. She got him some ginger ale. His body hurt. The nurses made her leave. His wife pleaded with the nurse, “Please help him eat & drink”. But the nurse neither helped him drink or take his meds. They sat on the tray. Harry was too weak to help himself.
Harry became confused and then unresponsive. He coded and now they allowed the family in as they watched the doctors & nurses perform CPR. The nurse pointedly stated “It’s Covid, that’s what it does.” Stop, let him go, the family requested and on 12/20/21 Harry passed away.
The hospital’s cause of death for Harry was sepsis ( weeks) as primary cause, and Covid secondary. The family, after reviewing his medical records, have a different perspective. They believe his sepsis was caused by neglect and fostered the deterioration of Harry’s health. The hospital said the family was encouraged to visit when, in fact, they were not permitted. There are other discrepancies as well from what the family was told and what the medical records actually show. While doctors were telling the family they were seeing improvement, the medical records do not substantiate this at all.
Today we honor Harry, his devotion to his family, and the life he lived by example. His daughter, Jenn, describes Harry’s hospital treatment as inhumane with no help or compassionate care. We are committed at Covid 19 Humanity Betrayal Memory Project to support our families who have suffered egregious loss and together, seek justice for them and their loved ones.