ORLANDO, Fla. - A husband and father of three is on his death bed because of COVID.
His wife says he couldn't get the lifesaving equipment needed due to a shortage.
"He’s not doing well right now. I just got a call from the hospital that basically he’ll pass sometime tonight into tomorrow."
Deanna Gomez says her 45-year-old husband Justin is dying from COVID.
She had him transferred to AdventHealth in Orlando so he could get an ECMO. It’s a lifesaving machine that helps the heart and lungs function.
"When they got him here, they told me there was no ECMO machines available. And then they said just wait and see. He has since declined."
An AdventHealth spokesperson says they're looking into the situation, but all patients need a doctor's referral. Deanna says she had one.
Deanna tells FOX 35 she called all over trying to locate another ECMO, but couldn’t find any. She says there's currently a shortage due to demand.
"I think we need to get more equipment in Central Florida. There should be support offered for our state."
"Maybe there should be some government support stepping in. It takes a lot of staffing for these ECMO machines so they’re limited."
Susan Walker believes there should be funding available for more ECMO’s. She recently struggled to find her husband, Robbie, an ECMO.
Susan called facilities both in and out of state and finally found one in Connecticut.
"I believe he wouldn’t be here at all if he didn’t have that type of treatment."
According to the ELSO Registry, there have been 7,700 patients on ECMO in the last 90 days, with a 48% mortality rate. Susan has some advice to others struggling, "Just don’t give up."
"I’m gonna figure out how we can make it better. We can do more."
As this loving wife sits by her husband during his final moments of life, she wishes he and others had a better chance at survival during the pandemic.
"It’s a complete lack of staff and machines to operate for these people who are able to get better and are left, are forgotten. Just forgotten," Deanna said.
She plans to reach out to health officials for changes.