On Your Mind

(The following article is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of iFIBER ONE News, iFIBER Communications, or its staff)

On September 13th my dad, infected with COVID-19, was admitted to the hospital due to being unable to breathe, he immediately went on the ventilator and was put in a medically induced coma. By the next morning we got a call that his kidneys were failing. In that moment we were shocked and heartbroken, my dad ultimately succumbed to the virus on September 14th

We were angry, we heard from many community members that we should have done more to keep my dad from going on a ventilator, furthermore they had advised us that Remdesivir is probably the reason his kidneys failed.

I was angry, and didn’t know what to believe. I was starting to think that what I was being told was true. I thought the doctors were out to get us, and had ultimately cost my dad his life.

Fast forward to September 15th, it was now my sister (a mother of 3 & a wife), who was fighting for her life – 3 doors down from where my dad lost his battle. We were going to do whatever possible for the doctors not to “kill her off” like they did my dad. We reached out 3 times per day to inquire about her, to make sure she was doing ok. We begged doctors not to put her on Remdesivir; to please allow her to receive the antibody treatment. We didn’t understand why they were taking the same steps they did with my dad. Doctors and nurses were kind enough to explain my sister’s situation and why they were treated her the way they were. Knowing now how overwhelmed and understaffed they are, makes me be even more thankful that they allowed us to take a few minutes of their time to go over my sister’s progress.

With time, since my sister’s case was progressing slower – we were able to learn how COVID progresses and were able to see that doctors are not actively killing people off.

The staff at Confluence Health was doing everything in their power to keep my sister alive, including risking their own lives day in and day out to make sure my sister made it. Ultimately, we had to have the conversation no one wants to hear. Doctors told my sister she was dying and her only option of survival was to go on the ventilator. They could not guarantee she would come out of it alive, but if she wanted to live – that was her ONLY option.

We were scared and unsure, but ultimately, my sister was not ready to give up. She agreed to go on the ventilator. We were relieved when days later they were able to wake her from the coma, she was doing so well that they were ready to wake her up again. They did, and she seemed like her old self! We were so excited, and it seemed like my sister would actually be coming home! But, anxiety got the best of her and overnight her oxygen levels dropped to the 20s, code blue and an emergency intubation was needed.

We were devastated. I had just talked to her, we were making plans for when she finally got out. She was so ready to be home, and frankly we were ready to have her back. How could she be back on the ventilator? Is that even possible?? The first time she had been put on life support, I had researched like crazy. Knowing that some people do make it out alive gave me hope, but that is for people that have been on the ventilator once. How was I going to explain to her kids that their mom was back on the ventilator for a second time?!

Slowly as the days went by, again we were told things were looking good. But, they didn’t want to wake her just yet. We were in talks with doctors as to next steps. This included a tracheotomy, but that was days away and we were expecting their decision by the beginning of the following week. But, things didn’t go as planned.

Wouldn’t you believe it, that same night my sister actually extubated herself! Took the ventilator tube right out! Doctors and staff were in total shock! I don’t think they’ve had anyone do that.

Thankfully, things turned out for the best; that morning I was able to finally join my sister and see her and hug her. It took less than a week for her to be well enough to be transferred to a rehab facility closer to home. Slowly, she was getting better and better. Ultimately, she was able to come home to her kids!

She is still on lots of oxygen, still has a long road ahead with physical and occupational therapy. But, none of that would have been possible without the ventilator.

We strongly believe in divine intervention, but at the same time we also believe that medicine and science helped bring my sister back.

I cannot sing enough praises about the staff at Confluence Health and Lake Chelan Community Hospital. I literally tear up and get chills whenever I recount this story  - mainly because I saw the support they provide for patients who are fighting alone. Many times the nurses held her hand, washed her hair, repositioned her to ensure she was comfortable & safe.

We are forever so thankful and want the community to know that they deserve our gratitude. Conspiracies have run amuck, it's time for people to see and understand that we are getting through this battle, only because of the amazing and unselfish work of the healthcare workers.

(The following article is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of iFIBER ONE News, iFIBER Communications, or its staff)