A man in
Shawn Rider posted a heartbreaking plea on Facebook on Tuesday looking for a hospital that had an open ICU bed and an ECMO machine so that his mom Karen could be transferred for treatment.
Karen has been on a ventilator since November 23 having been hospitalized and placed on oxygen a few days earlier when she began to have trouble breathing.
Shawn’s post was successful, and he was called by a doctor from nearby York hospital who was able to facilitate the transfer the next day.
His mom is still in a serious condition, but Rider has managed to speak to her via Zoom as the family continued to thank the quick work of the doctors and said they hoped their story would urge other families to take precautions.
Karen Rider has been on a ventilator since November 23 Her son Shawn put out a social media call this week in a desperate search for a new ICU bed for her as her condition deteriorated. She is pictured above with one of her grandchildren before she fell ill
Shawn Rider, pictured left, said he had to try and find a new ICU bed for his mom Karen
He explained in his Tuesday that the hospital no longer had capabilities to treat her
‘Is there anyone in the York Hospital, Hershey Hospital, Penn State, Temple or Maryland Hospitals that has connections to the COVID ICU?’ Shawn wrote in his initial post Monday.
‘My mom is not doing well and is maxed out at Hanover Hospitals capabilities. We are looking for a hospital that has an ECMO machine and a bed so Hanover can transfer her to you.
‘I’m sorry to be blunt but FB is the fastest way to get news out. Hanover Hospital is making calls, but I can’t move forward without giving it my best shot.
‘Mom… please continue to fight. We love you so much and aren’t ready to lose you,’ he added.
Shawn said in a separate post that he had put out his plea after speaking to his mom’s doctor and being told that she needed to be transferred but that they couldn’t make a promise that a bed would be available.
He said he then spoke to his dad who got emotional at hearing of his wife’s condition and told him ‘she needs to fight.’
By Tuesday, Karen had been transferred to York where she was placed back on a ventilator. She has now spent 13 days on a ventilator as of Saturday.
Shawn’s post had been seen by a nurse in York who passed on the information to a doctor who was able to facilitate the transfer.
Before she left, Karen was able to meet with her husband who wore full PPE to join her in the hospital.
He commended the work of the hospital staff telling Shawn: ‘I don’t know how these people have done this for 9 months. I was drenched when I left.’
Shawn said the doctor at York told them he ‘does not want to create false hope’ as despite the transfer, Karen has still shown no improvement.
‘She is now in a marathon fight and this won’t change overnight. For those that haven’t talked to Doctors about COVID-19, it is unpredictable,’ he wrote.
‘People get better than they crash… hard. They have no idea which patients will turn for better or worse. So, I also don’t want to make this post and have anyone thinking Mom is on the right side of the tracks. She’s not. ‘
Karen, pictured seated bottom left with her family, has been on a ventilator for 13 days
Her son Shawn has documented her battle with COVID-19 since the beginning
Karen was originally at Hanover hospital but needed an EMCO machine
Karen was able to speak to her family, however, with Shawn posting a photo of their Zoom chat saying he wished more people could see it because ‘this is COVID-19’.
Shawn has documented his mother’s full battle with COVID-19 with the family even hosting a virtual ‘Cowbells for Karen’ event in honor of her fame for ringing her cowbell nonstop at South Western football games.
Shawn was able to Zoom with his mom from York hospital, pictured
He also shared screenshots of his text conversation with her on November 19 in which she said that she was going to go to the hospital as she had no energy.
Shawn said he shared them ‘to show you how quickly things can change for the worse with COVID-19’.
He added in a post Friday that while the family is not speaking to the media ‘out of respect for the other grieving families, the overworked, tired and stressed Doctors, nurses and support staff involved’, they were ‘humbled and grateful that our Mom’s story is making an impact’.
‘Our family is suffering. Our family is fighting like so many others. Yes, we want people to hear our story and take more precautions so they don’t end up in the position we are in, that’s why we have been posting about Mom but we do not want the attention on our family specifically,’ he said.
‘We took to Facebook to be proactive in the fight to save our Mom. We want to emphasize this is about being proactive… proactive for our family, proactive for your family, proactive to save others… proactive as individuals, proactive as family units, proactive as communities and states and nations and yes, the world.’
Shawn also showed the texts with his mom that showed her quick deterioration
Shawn said that the family was being proactive about saving their mother
In an earlier post he said that he had asked his dad before he made the Facebook post
The continued spike of coronaviruses cases in the US is placing strain on medical centers not just in Pennsylvania.
Rider’s online plea came as hospitals around the country are battling with critical bed shortages and are being forced to restrict the number of people with COVID-19 they can admit in order to leave beds available for sicker patients.
While total hospitalizations from the virus have reached new highs in the US with 101,276 people receiving professional medical care as of Friday, new data show that the percentage of those who are admitted to the hospital once testing positive is decreasing.
Data analyzed by The Atlantic revealed that a smaller percentage of COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized throughout November than in the previous months as numbers of new daily cases skyrocketed to such an extent that healthcare systems are becoming overwhelmed.
If the continued rise in cases plunges the bed shortage into further crisis, it could result in the death of Americans who may have been saved if treatment was immediately available, causing even greater concern for medical staff.
This week already marked the deadliest week of the pandemic since mid-April with 2,595 deaths reported in the US Friday.
As of Saturday morning, 279,966 Americans have died from coronavirus and 14.4 million cases have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic.
In Pennsylvania, there have been 411,484 cases with new daily infections taking a rapid rise in recent days.
On Thursday, the state recorded 12,884 new cases smashing any previous records.
Before this, the highest number of new daily cases had been 8,355 on November 25. Through the first waves of the pandemic, the highest number ever reached was 2,058.
There are 5,230 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19, of which 1,065 patients are in the intensive care unit.
Pennsylvania has had 11,262 deaths from coronavirus with 149 new victims reported Friday.