U.S. Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson who survived two deployments in Afghanistan started feeling sick last week, he went to the hospital in Bellville, Texas, outside Houston but couldn’t get an ICU bed in time to save his life.
he fell ill on Saturday, his mother rushed him to Bellville Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis
Belville emergency room physician Dr. Hasan Kakli who examined Wilkinson said this: “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.”
Dr. Hasan Kakli, then made a series of calls to area hospitals to secure the veteran an ICU bed. It was in vain. it was overwhelmed with COVID patients, there was no place for him.
“Then I’m at my computer and, I’m just like, scratching my head, and I get this thought in my head: I’m like, ‘What if I put this on Facebook or something, maybe somebody can help out?’ One doctor messaged me: ‘Hey, I’m in Missouri. Last time I checked, we have ICU beds. We can do this, call this number.’ The next guy messages 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.'”
Eventually Wilkinson was transported to a Houston hospital after a bed opened up, but by the time he arrived, it was too late.
“They weren’t able to do the procedure on him because it had been too long,” his mother Michelle Puget told CBS. “They told me that I had to make a decision, and I knew how Danny felt; he didn’t want to be that way. And, so, we were all in agreement that we had to let him go.”
Wilkinson was 46.
“I’ve never lost a patient from this diagnosis, ever,” said dr. Kakli.