A man from Alabama died after suffering a cardiac event at Cullman Regional Medical Center because the emergency staff was unable to find a cardiac ICU with a free bed.
Ray Martin DeMonia, an auctioneer in the antique business from Cullman, Alabama, was just three days shy of celebrating what would have been his 74th birthday.
DeMonia was transported across three states in search of an ICU with availability, but 43 hospitals all told the emergency staff they were unable to accommodate him due to hospitals being inundated with patients being treated for COVID-19.
He passed away on Wednesday, September 1 after finally reaching a free ICU bed in Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi.
In his obituary, DeMonia's family encouraged people to get vaccinated to prevent others from suffering a loss that could have been prevented had there been a decrease in the rate of infected patients, most of whom were adamantly against inoculation.
"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."
People were enraged over the crisis in hospitals overrun with unvaccinated COVID patients that led to DeMonia's death.
According to CBS 42, the state of Alabama saw the highest shortage of ICU beds yet during the pandemic.
The Alabama Hospital Association Deputy Director Danne Howard said:
"I can't predict what's going to happen tomorrow, but we're certainly not trending in the right direction."
"That's why we're so aggressively trying to find additional resources, so those decisions don't have to be made, so those type of life-or-death situations are not something that have to be faced."
Last week, Vernon Johnson—CEO of Dale Medical Center in Ozark, Alabama—discussed the current situation with Montgomery Advertiser.
"Now's not the time to have a heart attack, or a major car wreck, or something serious because there is nowhere to send you."
"We are holding patients in our emergency room, trying to find beds for them to go to, so they can receive appropriate care."