Florida mother says hospitals need help after husband dies from COVID-19


APOPKA, Fla. (WESH) — A Florida woman is speaking out and calling for more support, staffing and equipment at hospitals after she says her husband died from COVID-19, in part, because of a lack of supplies.

“We have to do something as a community to make it better,” Deanna Gomez said.

“This is a hot spot here in Orlando. The hospital has 1,700 beds and only 20 ECMO machines, like that just doesn’t make sense,” Gomez said.

Deanna says her whole family caught COVID-19 at the beginning of September, but while she and her kids quickly recovered, her husband Justin did not.

“He ended up getting put on a ventilator on Sept. 17,” Gomez said.

She said Justin was then life-flighted from Apopka to AdventHealth in Orlando. However, when they got there, the hospital was just as overwhelmed.

“I tried everything,” Gomez said. “We contacted multiple news stations, multiple hospitals, trying to find an ECMO machine for him and it was too late. He ended up passing away on the 29th.”

“I know a lot of people are going to be curious, was your husband vaccinated? Not at that time,” she added.

Gomez said the family had decided to wait to get the vaccine until after Justin was scheduled to finish a job that month.

“I have to live with that for the rest of my life,” Gomez said.

Even with that burden, Deanna says she still believes if her husband had all the equipment he needed at the hospital, his outcome may have been different.

“This isn’t fair and we need to figure out how to make it better. Whether it’s better, hiring more staff, funding, raising awareness. Whatever it may be, we have to do something,” Gomez said.

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