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Inside COVID ICU, a husband’s plea for prayers as his wife fights for her life

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:31 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:32 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Through sickness and health Roger Sanders has been by his wife’s side for 41 years.

Through there marriage there has not been much sickness though, he said Dana has only been sick three times. Four weeks ago that changed. Roger found himself away from Dana’s side in her time of greatest need.

“There’s no words to describe it,” Roger said. “There is absolutely nothing in the English language that describes what it’s like to come up here every day and not knowing what’s going to happen minute to minute.”

He said he knows his wife should not be in Baton Rouge General’s Covid ICU, Dana was supposed to get her Covid vaccine earlier this year but life got in the way.

“Her first vaccination got cancelled and she was supposed to reschedule it after the surgery, but life goes on and grandkids and next thing you know the vaccination is forgotten about,” Roger said.

Now, instead of spending time getting hugs from grandchildren she has notes posted from her grandchildren taped on the wall.

Roger said neither he nor Dana were concerned about the virus. He got his vaccine and, even at 74 Dana was the pinnacle of health. Roger said she did not have high blood pressure and did not have heart problems.

“She has no underlying medical conditions but yet here we are, four weeks, 10, 11 days on the ventilator,” he said.

Now, all he can do is wait and pray.

“It is a nightmare because this wicked illness, it, you have a rebound then the next day you come back and its worse. So it’s been a vicious roller coaster,” he said. “Horrible.”

Doctors in BRG’s growing Covid unit say they see this playing out in room after room. Dr. Stephen Brieere, BRG’s Chief of Critical Care said patients are younger and sicker this go around. Treatments are more effective but Brierre said he worries more people like Dana will be coming in, especially as vaccination rates remain low.

“It’s sad that we’re doing this. It seems like it was preventable,” Dr. Brierre said. “We’re on the uptick of the surge and so we haven’t even hit the peak of this one and you know, if you get frustrated you’re not going to be focused on your job and your job is to take care of patients.”

For Roger, he knows his wife is in good hands, he just wishes they were never in the hospital to begin with.

“If you want to refuse this thing then you’re taking a serous chance with your life,” Roger said.

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