An Alabama antique dealer died this month from a ‘cardiac event’ after emergency staff at his local hospital contacted dozens of intensive care units in three states and could not find him bed as Covid-19 cases increased, his family said.
The man, Ray DeMonia, who ran DeMonia’s Antiques and Auctions for four decades, died on September 1, three days before his 74th birthday, his family said in an obituary published this month.
“Ray was a great, great man, loved and respected by many,” his family said.
DeMonia has died as cases of Covid-19 in the state, which has had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, continue to rise.
Some nurses in Alabama protested the grueling working conditions, and last month a doctor in Mobile said he would stop treating unvaccinated patients.
In the obituary, her family urged people who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated – “in an effort to free up resources for emergencies unrelated to Covid.”
“He wouldn’t want another family to go through what his did,” his family said.
They said he died at the Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi, after staff at the Cullman Regional Medical Center contacted 43 intensive care units and could not find him of bed.
A spokeswoman for Cullman Hospital, about an hour north of Birmingham, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama has one of the highest rates of new Covid-19 cases in the country, with around 541 per 100,000 people testing positive in the past seven days.
During that time, 259 people died, the CDC reported.