The desperate appeal of a Pennsylvania man to find an ICU to take his critically ill mother, COVID-19, has gone viral.
Shawn Rider’s mother, Karen contracted the coronavirus in mid-November. She was admitted to Hanover Hospital, about two hours west of Philadelphia, and had been on a ventilator since Nov. 23, her son wrote on social media.
But as her condition worsened, Karen needed an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO) – a device that Hanover Hospital did not have.
“We can’t make any promises that a hospital is available to take her to try ECMO,” a doctor told Rider.
Since the recent tide of COVID-19 rates spiking, ICU beds in Pennsylvania have been full.
In a series of heartbreaking messages on his Facebook page, Rider wrote: “Is there anyone at York Hospital, Hershey Hospital, Penn State, Temple or Maryland Hospitals who has links to COVID ICU? My mother is not doing well and has been increased in the capabilities of Hanover Hospitals.
“We are looking for a hospital that has an ECMO machine and a bed so Hanover can pass it on to you. I’m sorry to be frank but FB is the fastest way to get news out. Hanover Hospital is making calls, but I can’t move forward without giving it my best shot. ”
“Mum… keep fighting. We love you so much and we are not ready to lose you, ”Rider pleaded in his post on Dec. 1.
Four hours later, a doctor from York Hospital called and facilitated a transfer the following day.
“A nurse at York Hospital saw my job and took her right to a Doctor in COVID ICU and immediately called my cellphone,” Rider later wrote. “I gave him the name of Dr’s Mother in Hanover and he called them right away and Mum is being prepared for transfer as we speak to York.
Another post went into further detail about the life-saving call.
“I get a random number calling me… Doctor in York. It’s calm. It’s clear. It’s positive, ”Rider wrote. “’Shawn, this is Dr. Zubkus of York Hospital. Tell me about your Mum and give me her doctor’s name and phone number, ‘”Rider recalled.
A few minutes later Zubkus Rider called and said, “Shawn, we’re taking it.”
“Now THAT LEADERSHIP F-KING THAT, right there ladies and gentlemen. That is a human being who not only cares about other human beings but is confident in his abilities. That’s someone who is not going to pass on blame to someone else and withdraw from a challenge. That’s who I always find in a corner and that’s who my Mum needs right now, ”Rider wrote.
Although Rider’s mother was still in serious condition and on a ventilator, his father was able to see her, and Rider has been able to talk to her through Zoom.
“Our family is humbled by the tremendous support that everyone has shown through our Mother’s ongoing struggle,” he said, asking for prayers for friends who lost loved ones to COVID-19. “My Dad has also learned that he lost one of his best friends to COVID-19, Jeff Cunningham. Real people. Real lives. A real virus. ”