A Texas veteran has died of treatable gallstone pancreatitis while waiting for a hospital bed which COVID-19 patients have been mostly occupying these days amid the surge in infections.
The veteran was identified as 46-year-old Daniel Wilkinson from Belville, Texas. He visited the emergency room last week and was diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis. He was told it was treatable through surgery, but Bellville hospitals did not have the equipment to perform the surgery, the Daily Mail reported.
Unfortunately, the other hospitals in Texas that had the equipment could not take him in for him to undergo surgery because their beds were full. By the time a bed was vacant at a hospital in Houston, Wilkinson’s condition already worsened, and his organs were shutting down. He was airlifted to the hospital, but because of his state, he later passed away.
The doctor who diagnosed Wilkinson when he went to the emergency room at a hospital in Belville said that he had to make calls to hospitals across Texas for seven hours trying to find a bed for him. The doctor was so desperate he even asked for a vacant hospital bed through a Facebook status. The doctor continued to share, “[One] guy messaged me, he’s a GI specialist, he goes, ‘I’m in Austin. I can do his procedure, get him over. I said, ‘Okay, great, let’s go.’ He texts me back five minutes later, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t get administrative approval to accept him, we’re full.’” Wilkinson died 24 hours after going to the emergency room.
The doctor said that Wilkinson would have had a 30-minute procedure, and he would be okay under normal circumstances. The doctor pointed out, “I’ve never lost a patient from this diagnosis, ever.”
More on Wilkinson, his mother, Michelle Puget, said that he loved his country and served two deployments in Afghanistan. Wilkinson even came home with a Purple Heart, a medal presented to service members who have been wounded or killed as a result of enemy action while serving in the U.S. military.