The hospital room was in chaos! Jasmine was gasping for air! The EMT shouted, “Her oxygen level is showing 47%! I’m not transporting her at 47%!

Six days earlier, on August 4, 2021, our daughter, Rhapsody, took Jasmine to a small ER hospital in Burleson, Texas, a town south of Fort Worth. All the emergency rooms of the major hospital were full of COVID patients, and it was the only hospital in the area that could see her, immediately. She was admitted and for five days they treated her for COVID pneumonia with increasingly aggressive methods, but her condition continued to deteriorate.

The hospital was an hour away from our home and she was placed in isolation. The only way we were able to “visit” Jasmine was to wave at her through a window and talk or text via phone. I could call the nurses for updates, but whenever possible, I preferred to make the hour-long drive and speak with her nurse in person, even if I could only see Jasmine for a few minutes through her window.

On August 10 at 10:00 a.m. while waiting in the lobby to speak with her nurse, the double doors swung open and the nurse said with a sense of urgency, “Mr. Isara, we need you to come back to see your wife. She is having a heart attack and we are transporting her to another hospital, immediately!” In the room, the nurses were preparing Jasmine for the arrival of the EMTs. She looked confused. I tried to comfort her saying, “They are transporting you to a larger hospital. You will be okay,” but she still appeared bewildered. Those were the last words that I would be able to say to her while she was conscious.

When the EMTs arrived, they removed the hospital BiPAP machine from Jasmine that was supporting her breathing and placed a mobile oxygen unit on her. Jasmine was gasping for air for what felt like an eternity, and at 47%, she would not survive the 12-minute trip. The hospital nurses placed her back on the BiPAP machine until a Critical Care ambulance that was better equipped arrived.

As I watched the medical professionals, I felt helpless. The situation was totally out of my control. Was this going to be “it”? I did not know. I prayed.

Stop and Consider: We can try to control some things, but we can never control everything. How do you feel when circumstances are completely out of your control? How do you react?

(Part 2: Entering a Crisis, Cont.)