As an ICU nurse, I’ve seen plenty of death from Covid over the last year and a half. There were some rough days that occurred over and over. People dying everday, young and old. Then it started getting a little better and less. Now, it seems like it’s starting all over again. Today was a hard day. My patient was a 40 year old male who tested positive for Covid on July 14th. Ill call him Jay. Jay’s brother and father also had Covid. Their father died a week ago yesterday, but Jay didn’t even know because he was intubated and medically paralyzed in the ICU. Two days before Jay was intubated, his brother was discharged home. Jay’s brother visited him before he went home. Jay told his brother he was never getting out of the hospital.
Jay’s mom visited him every day. His 11 year old and 17 year old also visited often . Yesterday Jay’s family buried his dad. His mom couldn’t visit. Today, Jay took a turn for the worst. He was already maxed out on 2 vasopressors and continuous dialysis, and intubated on 100% oxygen . He has been in the hospital 20 days now. Today his O2 sats started dropping as well as his blood pressure. We added more drips to try to increase his pressure. We tried other meds, we put in a chest tube. Nothing was working. The doctor called Jay’s mom and told her she needed to come as soon as possible. She happened to be at the funeral home dropping off flowers. I told Jay to hang on, his mom was coming. I don’t think he heard me but maybe his spirit did. Within an hour she arrived with her other son and their pastor. When she walked into the room I think she thought her son had already passed. She cried his name and No no no! She sat down on the floor next to his bed and I sat down next her. I put my arm around her and tried to comfort her. I reassured her that he was still alive, barely. I told her he waited for her.
The doctor told her that death was inevitable as we have exhausted every resource. She then chose to withdraw all life sustaining treatment, she did not want to prolong suffering any longer. This was such a difficult decision… she just buried her husband yesterday. His daughers came in, they cried and told him how much they loved him. I cried, everyone cried. Jay’s mom was devastated. She was a Christian, we all prayed together, the pastor and about 10 other family members. I was thankful that family could be there. He was out of the Covid isolation window, so he could have visitors. I turned on some Christian music because I knew she would like that. She thanked me and sang to her Jay. When they were ready, we withdrew care. We pulled out the breathing tube and turned off all 5 drips that were sustaining his blood pressure. I left his pain medication running, I didnt want him to be in pain. Jay’s heart quit beating 20 minutes later. I stayed with them the entire time. Jay’s mom asked me how much God thought she could handle… I told her God never gives us more than we can handle. I told her to trust God and to go to him for strength. I hugged her like she was my own mom. I felt her pain in my heart but felt helpless to relieve it. I hugged the daughters and told them how sorry I was. They all thanked me, but I didn’t feel that I deserved that thanks. I couldn’t keep Jay alive… Covid won again…
Covid destroyed all of Jay’s organs and after 20 days of fighting, his body gave up. I mean it just couldn’t fight anymore. There was nothing more we could do. Covid devastated the lives of those that love Jay and those that cared for him. I pray for peace for Jay’s family, especially his mom and daughters.
I see alot of death, and none of them are good or easy, but this one really broke my heart. I hate Covid! It is truly the devil’s work!