Kingwood family waited days for ICU bed for father of 4 with COVID

KINGWOOD, Texas (KTRK) -- As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, ICU beds in the Houston area are growing harder to come by.

A Kingwood family tells ABC13 they waited days for their loved one to be transferred to ICU.



"The past couple of days, we heard that he got a bed and we got excited, and it didn't happen for whatever reason," said Tracy Cotto. "So when I see the helicopter leaving [Tuesday] is when I'll start celebrating and know that at least he's going to have a chance to beat this."

READ ALSO: Houston ICUs 'like a war zone' amid COVID surge, doctor says
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One doctor is describing to Eyewitness News the "sadness" seen at all ICUs across Houston. He says the tragedy stems from how preventable scenes like these could have been.



Tracy's husband Tim has been at Kingwood Emergency Hospital since last Wednesday after being diagnosed with COVID pneumonia.



Doctors told Tracy her husband now needs a higher level of care and will be required to be placed in the ICU. Monday night, their hope was nearly answered.

"As we were leaving, the nurse comes running out that he'd gotten a bed in New Mexico. We were so excited and we celebrated, but unfortunately, since then, my husband has taken a turn for the worst, and he desperately needs an ICU bed in the Houston area," said Tracy.



READ ALSO: 11-month-old with COVID sent to hospital 150 miles away due to lack of bed space in Houston

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Illustrating the critical shortage seen by the Texas Medical Center, an 11-month-old girl with COVID had to be flown 150 miles away for care simply because there was no room for her in town.



Tracy said a limited number of beds are available and an issue with their insurance being out-of-network put them in a tough situation.

The chief nursing officer at Kingwood Emergency Hospital told ABC13 they have multiple patients who need ICU beds, but they're having trouble finding them in the greater Houston area.

"I want him back more than anything in the world because he's my ride or die," said Tracy. "He's my person that I need in my life, and I can't function without him so hopefully this getting him into another hospital will help us and save his life."

Tracy said as of Tuesday afternoon, Tim was able to be transferred to the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he remains on a ventilator.
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