On November 12, 2021, my dad flew from Arizona to Washington, and I picked him up at the airport. On Saturday, November 13th. other family members and myself helped my dad pack a 26-foot Penkse truck with the contents of a storage unit with their things for him to drive back to Arizona.
My dad did have a pre-existing condition of Pulmonary Fibrosis that he kept an eye on. He periodically needed oxygen, and he used it a few times while packing the truck. We spent about five (5) hours doing that and came home to rest.
He woke up on Sunday, November 14th to make the 2.5 day drive from Washington to Arizona. He was a retired truck driver so this was no big deal. He arrived in AZ on Tuesday the 16th and was pretty tired so he and my mom rested.
On the 17th, they had volunteer fire fighters come and help them unload the contents of the truck into the garage of their new home. On Thursday the 18th, he was in bed with a fever. My mom called to let me know and we just assumed he was tuckered out. He remained in bed on Friday the 19th.
I overnighted Ivermectin to my parents and he was given one dose prior to my mom calling 911, at the request of my dad. My dad hated hospitals so she knew it was pretty bad if he was calling. His oxygen was very low. He checked into the hospital at 1 P.M. At this point, my mom is not feeing well herself and trying to hold it together.
They get him admitted and immediately test him. He tests positive for COVID (even though we know the PCR tests don’t work, so who knows what it really was), so my mom was unable to stay with him. My mom informed the emergency room doctor, and my dad informed them as well, that he is on a no vent and no Remdesivir protocol.
On Sunday, the 21st, I called and talked to my Dad’s nurse. I asked for all meds he was on. She gave me the list, and without my asking, she said, “He had refused Remdesivir,” and I confirmed that was in fact correct. I asked if they could add Vitamin C, D and Zinc to his protocol. She said she’d have to get my dad’s approval, so I texted my dad saying she’d come in to ask and for his to approval. He replied, “Done.” She stated he had just ordered Salmon, and was doing ok for the time being.
On Monday, the 22nd, I communicated with my dad via text, and told him to keep a positive head. He was texting regularly with my mom. My mom was not getting better and actually getting worse, so on Tuesday, the 23rd, I got on a plane and flew to Arizona. ,On Wednesday morning the 24th, I got to the hospital right at the beginning of visiting hours, and was with dad from 10:15 A.M. to 11:30 A.M.
As I arrived, the floor doctor, Dr. Dubay, was walking out of my dad’s room. I began asking him how he was doing? He said, Okay for now, but his condition is serious.” I reminded him he is on a no-Remdesivir-protocol, and he said he was given it earlier that morning. I said, “How, its all over his chart he, my mom and myself refused it?” He said he wasn’t sure and acted annoyed.
Since he was being given albuterol, I asked about Budesonide and he said, “What’s that?” I said, “It’s another med that is helping people, and all pharmacies have it.” He seemed annoyed that I knew about it and that I was asking. The doctor said they couldn’t give him aerosol drugs, and i said, “That’s what albuterol is.”
My dad had a nasal cannula when I walked in and was well enough to talk to me, but I could tell it was hard to talk. I asked more “yes” and “no” questions to help him not talk, but his overall mood was good. He didn’t have the TV on, so I asked if he wanted it on he said, “No.” He also said “no” to music which was odd as he loved TV and music. I reassured him I was there to help and advocate for him. He told me he was very lucky to have me and was proud of the daughter I am. We face-timed with my mom, so he could see her and talk to her for a few minutes. She was still not her best, but was excited to talk to him.
I talked with the nurse and told him on Sunday I had asked for Vitamins to be added, and I wanted to confirm they were. He said they had not, so he’d check on it. (So, note we requested vitamins Sunday and Wednesday he still didn’t have them. He refused Remdesivir for days yet, they gave it to him anyway on Wednesday.) The nurse was nice and said he’d look into it, and make sure he was not administered Remdesivir again, as it was a five day thing.
I told my dad that my sole purpose of being in AZ was to be with him and mom and that I had no where I’d rather be, but did he want me to stay or did he want me to go help mom? After an hour, he told me to go take care of mom. I told him I’d be back the next day, same time. I also asked his nurse what time he got off, and if I could call him before he ended his shift to see how my dad did during the day. He said, “Of course.” So I left….. man do I wish I had never left my dad’s side.
I left that day confident and felt my dad was doing okay but pretty upset they had given him Remdesivir, against all our wishes. Fast forward to 6:30 P.M. that night (I left hospital at 11:30 A.M.), I called and spoke with his nurse. He said dad had a bowel movement and was able to get out of bed and use the chair side commode to do it. He had also just ordered salmon for dinner, so things were looking good.
I hung up and had plans to go the next morning. Gave my mom the update, and things were good. Three hours later, she gets a text from my dad saying he doesn’t think he’s going to make it through the night and that he loves her. We freaked out! I called the nurses line for like an hour with no reply. I called again around 10:30 P.M., and couldn’t reach anyone. We figured if things were really bad, they’d call us.
I show up around 10:45-11 A.M. on Thursday, November 25th (it’s Thanksgiving). As I approach my dads room, I see a person sitting outside his room facing the window. As I am gowning up, all these alarms go off, and the gal looking in his room gets up and says, “There he goes again, pulling it off!” About four people go in the room. I’m standing there in shock not sure what to do. The same nurse from the day before is on shift and tells me he gave him some anxiety meds to calm him down and that I could enter the room. My dad was not all the way there. The person sitting outside his room had been assigned to sit there because apparently my dad kept trying to pull the Bi-pap machine off his face.
Well this is new, we had no idea he was upgraded from nasal cannula the day before, to this. Since they gave him anxiety meds to calm him down due to the incident as I was arriving, he was passed out. I texted my mom and said, “I can’t face-time just yet, he’s sleeping.” (Didn’t tell her what had happened, just said we’d call later.)
When my dad came too, I was next to his bed and assured him I was there and I wasn’t leaving. The next six hours were the longest, hardest, most dreadful six hours of my life, and recall, it’s Thanksgiving. For the next six hours, he falls in and out of consciousness and is only awakened by dry cotton mouth and begs for water. He has a Bi-pap on though, and he tries to drink water as if he doesn’t know something is on his face.
I hollered to the gal sitting outside his room and say, “He needs water. He’s begging.” She seems annoyed and has to get gowned up each time to come in the room. Between her and his nurse this goes on every 15 or so minutes. It was pure torture seeing my dad beg for water and them acting as if it’s putting them out to give him water.
Around 1:30 P.M., the respiratory therapist (RT) comes in. Mind you, I’m a visitor in a COVID unit and I didn’t see any other visitors. When you see a family member in the room, shouldn’t you talk to them? He did not. So I introduced myself. He said, “Well, did they fill you in on what happened this morning?” I said, “No, they haven’t said anything. “What’s up?” He said, that earlier that morning he was doing his rounds and found my dad sideways in bed, and blue and he almost didn’t make it. I’m sorry, what? How did this happen and my mother was not notified?
The RT looked at my dad and said, “This is really serious, and I need you to know how serious this is. You are very, very sick, and you can’t take this off.” My poor dad is looking at me and back at the RT like he has no idea what he’s talking about. In between consciousness, my dad talked to me and asked me weird things like what I’m going to be for Halloween. He looked outside and says, “Man, it looks crummy out.” (It was 90 degrees and gorgeous.) At one point, he looked at me, sat up in bed and said he was ready, and I said “Ready for what?” He said, “Ready to go home.” I said, “Dad, we can’t go home.” He said, “I have oxygen at home. Let’s go.” At this point, I asked the nurse to come in and told him my dad wasn’t making any sense. He got down and talked to my dad and asked him some questions, and while my dad engaged he was so confused.
Around 4:30 P.M., the RT came back and asked how things were going. I said, “He’s been begging for water so he’s been getting some here and there.” The guy turned and screamed at me and said I could kill him for giving him water. I said, “I didn’t give it to him, the nurses did.” He said, “No way should he be getting any water.” I said how, he’s so parched with that thing on his mouth. He left the room after giving him the set meds. About 20 minutes, later a head nurse came in and said his nurse was on lunch was everything okay, and I just started bawling. I said, my dad is begging for water, they won’t give him vitamins I’ve asked for, and your RT is an “A” hole. She said while it was not an excuse, the RT’s were very short staffed and had a lot of patients, but she’d talk to him.
I was mentally exhausted. I didn’t want to leave my dad, but my heart could not take it anymore. I think it was around 5:30 P.M. My dad fell out of consciousness, and i kissed him and left. I went home and sobbed to my mother. I said, “Pray, do whatever you need to do, but you HAVE to get rid of your fever so you can go see dad. He needs you, and he is fading fast.” Telling this to my mother was heartbreaking.
I called to talk to the nurse again that night, and she told me they had to put mittens on his hands because he kept trying to pull cords out and take the Bi-pap off. I told her, “He is not being combative, he just doesn’t understand. You keep giving him anti anxiety meds, which are clearly making him delusional. Please know my dad isn’t being combative on purpose.”
Around 5:30 A.M., my mom got a call that they had to restrain him due to his continued efforts to pull cords out and take his Bipap off. My mom informed me of this when I woke up, and I helped her get ready to go see him. I dropped my mom off and waited in the parking lot. I told her as soon as she got to the room she needed to call me on speaker with a nurse or doctor. She called with the nurse on phone and he said it was a pretty bad case. My mom said, “What are our options?”. He said we can vent him to let his lungs heal or we talk about comfort care. My mom promised my dad no extraordinary measures, so the nurse got the doctor to come in and we talked about options.
My mom was not in the room with my dad more than 30 minutes and said she had to leave. My dad was a different person she didn’t even recognize and she promised him she’d be back to help him. My mom came down sobbing. She said, “Nikki, he had gloves on and no clothes. He stared right through me.” She said it was the most painful thing to see her husband of forty-five years look at her like the devil himself.
We called my brother and my sister and told them that there is no other option than to help dad go peacefully. We went back to the hospital two hours later and they made an exception to let my mom and me both go in. They administered drugs to my dad and within forty-five minutes he was gone. What the heck happened from when I left on Wednesday and talked to the nurse at 6:3P.M., and he was eating and going to bathroom to twelve hours later being on a Bi-Pap and blue and almost dead? Well, that would have been day one or two of Remdesivir, and then the cascade of interventions from there. Hospital protocol and Remdesivir and lack of food and water killed my father.