Veteran dies of treatable illness as COVID deadbeat fills hospital beds

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CBS News: When U.S. Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson started feeling sick last week, he went to the hospital in Bellville, Texas, outside Houston. His health problem wasn’t related to COVID-19, but Wilkinson needed advanced care, and with the coronavirus filling up intensive care beds, he couldn’t get it in time to save his life.

“He loved his country,” his mother, Michelle Puget, told “CBS This Morning” lead national correspondent David Begnaud. “He served two deployments in Afghanistan, came home with a Purple Heart, and it was a gallstone that took him out.”

Last Saturday, Wilkinson’s mother rushed him to Bellville Medical Center, just three doors down from their home.

But for Wilkinson, help was still too far away.

Belville emergency room physician Dr. Hasan Kakli treated Wilkinson, and discovered that he had gallstone pancreatitis, something the Belville hospital wasn’t equipped to treat.

“I do labs on him, I get labs, and the labs come back, and I’m at the computer, and I have one of those ‘Oh, crap’ moments. If that stone doesn’t spontaneously come out and doesn’t resolve itself, that fluid just builds up, backs up into the liver, backs up into the pancreas, and starts to shut down those organs. His bloodwork even showed that his kidneys were shutting down.”

Kakli told Begnaud that his patient was dying right in front of him. Wilkinson needed a higher level of care, but with hospitals across Texas and much of the South overwhelmed with COVID patients, there was no place for him.

Kakli recalled making multiple phone calls to other facilities, only to get a lot of, “sorry … sorry … sorry,” in reply. Places had the specialists to do the procedure, but because of how sick he was Wilkinson needed intensive care, and they didn’t have an ICU bed to put him in. read more..

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Or, America could have built and maintained more Hospitals instead of putting the money into Corporate Headquarters, Company jets, CEO bonuses etc. Trained Medical staff instead of loss prevention personnel.
    Then we would be able to treat the needy and the idiots concurrently.

  2. Hospitals and doctors should treat patients in the order of severity, not whether someone likes their background or prefers their status.
    The slippery slope of preferential treatment in any medical setting should be avoided at all costs. That path does not lead to good things.
    Another slippery slope is using veteran health as a political tool. If people care about veterans health, they would end stupid wars. They do not. They scream for death at the drop of a hat based on flimsy evidence. Usually against black and brown people with religions other than Judeo christian. No More War. Put up or shut up.

    • Btw, while many people have no control over their health, many do, and unhealthy choices are a leading cause for being in Hospital. Where would it end ? Well Bob, I see here that you eat fried food, I guess we are going to have to ask you to leave ?