The night of September 1st we both turned a corner. Me for the better and Ron for the worse. His coughing was severe and he couldn't catch his breath. I had fallen asleep and he didn’t want to disturb me, so he wheeled the oxygen machine out of the room, sat down at his computer and wrote a letter to the kids. He saw that his body was failing more and more with every passing hour, so he wanted to ensure that each of them knew just how much he loved them and to never let go of Jesus.
This letter remained a mystery to us until several days later when Karissa went onto his computer to look up some info regarding Covid management - Ron was already in the Covid ICU and reading these messages left behind brought us to tears.
I remember waking up on September 2nd thinking…I slept. It was the first night I had only woken a couple of times and it was the first time I had felt that my body was fighting back. That feeling of hope was quickly dashed when I realized how much Ron was suffering. While my body was strengthening, his body was weakening. I didn’t know what to do. Up until just a couple days prior our mentality was such that when you see your loved one this sick, you take them to the hospital and you get them help. Now I just didn’t know. I tried to get another telehealth appointment for Ron, but they couldn’t fit him in until later and I knew in my heart that something needed to be done now. Karissa helped me pack a small bag and we tried to see if we could get the oxygen machine to work in our car. Afterall, it was a 25 minute drive to the hospital and he couldn’t go a minute without the support of additional oxygen. The machine required more energy to run than my car could maintain - so that was out.
God answers prayer…
I felt helpless and confused. I sat down at my desk, head in my hands and prayed that God would make it clear to me if we should try to drive Ron to the hospital or if we needed to call for an ambulance. At that very moment, Karissa came running out to me with the digital thermometer - BRIGHT RED - and reading 105.1. That was it, I had my answer. While Karissa grabbed ice packs and cold compresses and put them all over her Dad, I immediately called for an ambulance. The next 30 minutes were a whirlwind. The ambulance arrived in record time, that was God - we don’t live in town, so we expected that we would wait a while. They quickly strapped Ron into the gurney and he was whisked into the ambulance before I even had time to give him a final kiss goodbye. I told them which hospital we wanted Ron to go to and we knew it wasn’t the closest one, so as expected they denied my request. Ron heard my request and their denial and in that one and only moment of clarity in the ambulance that he can remember, he told them that if they didn’t take him to the hospital I requested then he was getting out. That’s all it took - they agreed and within minutes of getting him on an IV, oxygen and checking his vitals they were on their way.
I don’t remember much about the ride, but remember pulling up in front of the hospital and the ambulance techs wheeling me inside and directly into my own room in the ER. There were nurses there that immediately got me into a chair and got me changed into a gown. They put me on 10 liters of oxygen, and although it was helping me, it was still difficult to breathe. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I made some family calls, which were quite emotional. One main theme you will hear throughout this story is how a near death experience can bring a sober reality to the fact that you have one life to live, and you never know when it will end… for you, or for those around you.
Live life to the full and re-prioritize if you have gotten off track.
I stayed in the first ER room for several hours, and was then transferred to the 3rd floor, which was a covid specific floor. I noticed upon arriving that it was a room capable of housing two people, so I asked if there was the potential that I would end up with someone else in the room. The nurse replied that it was indeed possible, but not probable. He spoke too soon. The next day they brought in an elderly Indian man who had a penchant for peeking around the privacy curtain so he could just stand there and stare at me. I could barely breathe, let alone talk. So began the staring contests...
Once Ron arrived at the hospital we were immediately met with many extremely important health decisions. Most important was the protocol that the hospital was laying out. This was the first time either of us had heard of Remdesivir, a drug that is part of the protocol that comes down from the top - and I do mean the TOP. It was the beginning of our crash course education in what is really happening in our country and our world.
We found ourselves very conflicted and searching for the truth. There were those telling us that Remdesivir will fill Ron’s kidneys and liver with fluid, thereby shutting them both down, within days his lungs will fill with fluid, which will result in them putting him on a ventilator and following that…death. While the hospital doctors were telling us if we don’t choose Remdesivir, immediately, that Ron won’t make it through the night.
Again, we found ourselves trusting the system and believing that they had Ron’s best in mind. I mean, right? This is how it’s done. You take your loved one to the hospital and they do everything in their power to make them well again. “Do NO harm”. That’s the oath that every doctor takes. Oh, how our world has changed.
With great reservation, we agreed to Remdesivir, along with steroids, antibiotics and so much more. They started the Remdesivir the night of September 2nd. It is an infusion treatment given once a day for 5 days straight. In Ron’s case, they continued this treatment for 11 days without us approving them to continue beyond the first 5 days. My daily prayer was, “Lord, we trust you, you are the great physician and you know exactly what Ron’s body needs. So please Lord, if they are attempting to put any poison in Ron’s body, would you remove it and fill his veins with the medicine from heaven that will heal him and restore every inch of his body”.