Noblesville man fights for his life and an ICU bed

Peter was hospitalized last week with pneumonia and sepsis. He may not have had COVID, but he still had to wait in line for a bed in the intensive care unit.

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – An Indiana woman has personally seen rising hospital admissions affect not only those with COVID-19 but those without Covid-19 who are in equally urgent need of care and an intensive care bed.

“There are more people in need of beds than there are beds to be made available,” said Katie Vienneau, speaking of hospital capacity amid this recent surge in Indiana COVID cases.

Vienna saw it firsthand. She was recently confronted with this harsh reality when her ex-husband Peter, the father of their two children, was hospitalized last week with pneumonia and sepsis, not because of COVID. Wienau said Peter, who is 39, got the vaccine last spring.

“He couldn’t tell how sick he was,” Vienneau said as she remembered how badly her ex-husband seemed to be on Monday.

But the doctors at the IU Health Hospital Saxony knew. There, Peter spent several days in the intensive care unit before the doctors decided that he needed more intensive care in the intensive care unit at Methodist Hospital.

Except, Vienneau said, the doctors told her Peter had to wait because there was no ICU bed available.

“They have been very forthcoming about the situation,” she said. “You balanced the critical nature of his needs with all of the other critical nature, the criticality of the patient, throughout the system.”

Unfortunately, Peter’s story isn’t unique.

According to the Indiana Department of Health, ICU beds are in short supply as only 8.9% of the state’s 2,041 ICU beds are available.

Hospitals have waiting lists that health officials say are a direct result of hospitalized COVID patients, most of whom are not vaccinated.

RELATED: Indianapolis Chaplain Shares the dire reality of the hospital intensive care unit COVID crisis

“These resources are being sucked into the pandemic’s big hoover,” Vienneau said, adding that waiting for a bed to open for Peter isn’t easy because he knows how sick he is.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re going crazy because it’s just a waiting game,” said Vienneau.

She explained that Peter was flown to Methodist Hospital last Monday, where he is staying on a ventilator and fighting for his life.

“If they hadn’t done the very advanced calculus to decide, ‘Who do we switch to Methodist next?’ And decided that Peter was the result of that equation if we weren’t here today. We wouldn’t have this chance to fight, ”said Vienna.

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