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Man Dies from Lack of Available ICU Beds

Ray DeMonia needed intensive care for a cardiac event, so naturally, his providers wanted to place him in the hospital intensive care unit. Unfortunately, there were no ICU beds available at his hospital--or at any of the surrounding areas. Hospital officials contacted 43 different hospitals across three states before they found an open bed where they could send him--170 miles away, in Meridian, Mississippi.

Unfortunately, that’s where DeMonia died. Even though his illness was not a result of COVID-19, the severe shortage of ICU beds that fatally delayed his treatment was a direct result of so many people needing treatment for COVID-19. Despite a readily available vaccine that prevents the vast majority of hospitalizations, local ICUs were--and continue to be--full of mostly unvaccinated patients dealing with severe coronavirus infections.

Dr. Don Williamson, head of the Alabama Hospital Association said, “Every day hospitals are trying to find a place to transfer patients, and it is very difficult. We’ve had patients transferred to Georgia, to Kentucky, to Florida.”

After his death, DeMonia’s family made a simple request to the general public: “In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non-COVID related emergencies. He would not want any other family to go through what his did.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

It is wrong when people in need go without help because of the selfishness of others. Even the choices that we consider to be personal still have ripple effects that affect the community as a whole.

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