MAILBAG: Open Letter to Relatives of Corona Patients

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Dear Fellow Relatives of Corona Patients,

I am reaching out to you not as a medical professional but as the daughter of a beloved father who is now on a ventilator in the ICU. My father had a temperature for a little over a week. His coughing wasn’t bad – but it did get stronger when he was on the phone. He had no trouble breathing – but he was weak. So so weak.

We later found out that the severe weakness (especially when coupled with fever) can be a sign of infection. My mother kept saying, “At least he has no breathing issues.” That’s what so many people think… until it could be too late, chas v’Shalom.

We begged my mother to take him to get tested but the doctors they were consulting over the phone insisted that if he was able to breathe well, there was no need for concern.

And then he fell. Baruch Hashem that happened, because when the doctors heard that, they insisted that he go to the ER immediately.

We thought he’d get some fluids through IV and be sent home soon afterward. But the lung x-ray revealed a severe case of double pneumonia – even though he’d been breathing well! They gave him oxygen which was increased throughout the night but it wasn’t enough. By the next night, my father needed to be intubated because his lungs had been badly damaged.

One of the worst aspects of this mageifah is that the patients need to suffer alone in the hospital, with no one to advocate for them or keep them company during this frightening time. Many people have expressed that they are reluctant to go to the hospital because if their time comes, chas v’Shalom, they don’t want to leave this world alone. That is a very serious concern.

But please don’t avoid getting the facts because you’re afraid that your loved one will be admitted to the hospital. Get the necessary tests and x-rays. Then you can decide on a plan of action. Perhaps your relative can receive the life-saving meds – or even IV – at home.

Even if a person needs to be intubated, many people do come off the ventilators with the help of Hashem – but the chances of recovery are much higher if they get intubated in time.

If you have a relative who is suffering with severe weakness or fever from corona, I beg you: Don’t wait to check it out in a medical facility!

May all our dear cholim have a refuah sheleimah!

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


3 COMMENTS

  1. Very sad story. However, I think it’s worth mentioning that there is no more evidence for the efficacy of garlic or mouthwash than any other medicament including HQC. Medicine can only help – and don’t expect nissim- when things get so bad that the patients needs oxygen and assisted ventilation for this disease. There is nothing realistically that the hospital could have done differently for this patient until he was really unwell. He would have been away from his family and picking up additional viral load from other patients and staff in hospital.

    The real reason to get tested is so that family members know to self isolate. If anyone in the family has the disease, do not leave the house. Do not pick up milk. Get family to drop off groceries on the doorstep without seeing you. If you have no family, there are communal organisations.

  2. NotARebbetzin – Can you please clarify your comment? It seems very important. Everyone should get tested for what? For coronavirus? For oxygen levels? And then what happens?

    My experience has been that many, many more people with symptoms of coronavirus could be saved from needing to go to the hospital if they MAKE SURE TO CHECK THEIR OXYGEN LEVELS and vitals frequently. Most people think that if someone is having trouble breathing, they will notice it and then deal with it if need be chas v’shalom. The truth is that in many cases that I am hearing about, the low oxygen level was NOT OBVIOUS (ie because the person was no having difficulty breathing) and by the time the person was checked, it was very late and the situation became critical very quickly. Checking oxygen levels can be done very easily with a pulse-ox machine that can be borrowed from some bikur cholims, gemachs, etc. (or perhaps even purchased online or by a pharmacy.) Some people are not seeing a doctor either because many doctors are either sick themselves, or not available, or they think they can just ride the virus out at home in bed. However, they MUST check the OXYGEN levels and vitals on a regular basis. Either they should find a reputable doctor or call Hatzolah or the very least, they should use the pulse-ox. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT and time is of essence.

    A HATZOLAH MEMBER ADDED THE FOLLOWING POINT:

    Severe weakness is also serious even without low oxygen reading because it could indicate pneumonia or other serious problems as can be seen above and peoplewith coronavirus symptoms should make sure to be checked. PLEASE SPREAD THIS INFORMATION