A man died after 43 hospitals packed full of critical condition Covid patients turned him away.
Ray Martin DeMonia died of a heart attack on September 1 at the Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi – 200 miles from his home.
After his cardiac arrest at the end of August, Ray’s desperate family contacted 43 hospitals to treat him.
None could offer a single ICU bed because they were packed full with Covid patients, his heartbroken family said.
Ray’s family has begged Americans to “please get vaccinated” to reduce pressure on the US healthcare system.
They hope more people getting jabbed would stop non Covid-related patients having to “go through what he did”, they wrote in his obituary.
After a stroke in April last year, Ray’s family found a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, that was “Covid-free” within three hours.
His family called him a “great, great man, liked and respected by many”.
In his hometown of Cullman, Ray ran “DeMonia’s Antiques and Auctions” for 40 years.
His job involved travelling the US “gathering antiques and sharing his wealth of knowledge”, his family said.
Alabama has been one of the states surging in Covid hospitalisations.
Scott Harris, head of the Alabama Department of Public health, told local media that numbers are starting to level off, but that there are still too few beds to nurse all ICU patients.
Mr Harris told reporters: “We continue to have a real crisis in Alabama with our ICU bed capacity.”
Taking figures from the previous week, he said there were 60 more patients than open beds in the state.
Deputy Director of Alabama Hospital Association said the bed situation was “dire” and that there’s no evidence of it becoming better.
She said: “I can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow, but we’re certainly not rending in the right direction.
“We’re not throwing in the towel, but it is a dire and serious situation,” she said.
On Sunday, almost 2,800 people in Alabama were in hospital with Covid. Of those, 768 were in intensive care.
According to the latest figures, reported in the Independent, only 40 per cent of Alabama citizens have been double jabbed – leading to the state filling the fourth-lowest vaccination rate nationwide.
It comes as a US hospital group announced it was suspending maternity services after staff walked out over forced vaccination plans, say reports.
Lewis County Health System in upstate New York is said to have experienced “mass resignations” due to the the Covid mandate given by US President Joe Biden.
The rules for the US state require health care staff to have had their first dose of a vaccine by September 27.
Exemptions can be made for those who are allergic to or have had previous adverse reactions to vaccines, but this must be certified.
According to multiple reports maternity services at the New York state hospital system has now been paused after staff quit over the plans.
US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he would require federal workers to be vaccinated against Covid and mandate that large employers either require their workers to be vaccinated or regularly tested.
He is set to announce new steps to slow the spread of the disease before the U.N. General Assembly meets, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said Sunday.
While it has not been specified what those steps would be the next session of the General Assembly opens on Tuesday.
The first day of general debate will be the following week.