The family of a man, Ray DeMonia, who died of heart issues in Mississippi, United States is asking people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 after 43 hospitals across three states were unable to accept him because of full cardiac Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
DeMonia died on September 1 in Meridian, Mississippi, three days shy of his 74th birthday. He was a well-known native in Cullman, Alabama, his family said.
DeMonia suffered from a cardiac event, and emergency staff at Cullman Regional Medical Centre had to bring him to the nearest available bed, which was nearly 200 miles away at a Mississippi hospital.
USA Today reports that in his obituary, DeMonia’s family urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
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“In honour of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non-COVID related emergencies,” the obituary read. “He would not want any other family to go through what his did.”
“Ray DeMonia was like no other,” his obituary read.
DeMonia reportedly spent 40 years in the antiques business in Alabama.
As of Thursday, there are 60 more ICU patients in Alabama than there are beds, and 51% of those patients have tested positive for COVID-19, USA Today reports.
The US has recorded more than 40.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 655,800 deaths. Cases have surged in areas across the country in recent months due to the delta variant of the virus.