CBS News: In Billings, Montana, emergency room Dr. Jamiee Belsky can barely keep up with the surge of new COVID-19 patients.
I spoke with Patrick Burshia earlier this month inside an ICU @BillingsClinic in Montana.
He told me he regretted not getting the Covid vaccine. But he was grateful that his condition was improving.
Sadly, he passed away this weekend.
He was just 24 years old. pic.twitter.com/C1LfPL1zCZ
— Gabe Gutierrez (@gabegutierrez) September 21, 2021
At Billings Clinic, the largest hospital in the state, the ICU is running at 150% capacity with younger and sicker patients admitted daily. The National Guard is on hand to help care for and screen new patients while hallways house the overflow.
Montana hospital ICU reaches 150% capacity amid surge of COVID-19 cases https://t.co/rkBPjmBkH2
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 30, 2021
“People need to get vaccinated because right now we’re hurting,” Belsky said.
Frank Miller, 59, was hospitalized with COVID-19 more than two weeks ago. The unvaccinated engineer spent more than a week on a ventilator.
“I struggled with it, being on a ventilator,” he said, adding he was “scared out of my mind.”
Montana topped 2,000 reported deaths from covid-19 today pic.twitter.com/Ei9mmX0E6d
— Holly Michels (@hollykmichels) September 29, 2021
“Because you don’t know,” Miller said. “You don’t know what’s happening. Afterward. I thought I’d come right out of it and I would be okay. And all of a sudden I couldn’t move my hands. I couldn’t feed myself.”
In the past week, Montana averaged about 108 COVID-19 patients in hospital ICUs — breaking the record seen during the winter of 2020. Thirty-five people have died in the state since the start of the month.
“You have good days, you have bad days,” Belsky said. “I have days I have to call my college buddies and say, ‘Hey man, it’s been a bad day. We lost a tough patient last night.'”