Broken Arrow family shares experience of COVID-19 patients falling through healthcare cracks

VIDEO: Oklahoma family concerned with lack of COVID resources after battle with virus

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — A Broken Arrow family wants to share their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks as healthcare systems deal with the overwhelming nature of the pandemic.

April Sailsbury says her husband, Brad, was the picture of health -- in his 40′s, very active, coaches and plays sports and he doesn’t smoke or drink.

On Election Day in November, Brad woke up with what he thought were allergies, then later in the day he thought he might have a sinus infection.

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Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks.
Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks. (Sailsbury Family)

He went to urgent care and doctors tested him for COVID-19.

By the time he got his test results two days later, he was feeling much worse.

By Sunday, he felt so bad, he wound up back at urgent care. April said her husband seemed dazed.

Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks.
Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks. (Sailsbury Family)

April says the doctor was concerned that his pulse oximeter measured 94, and said his blood pressure was too low and his pulse was too high.

Doctors sent Brad to the emergency room in an ambulance. At the hospital, April says doctors got him stable with IV fluids and oxygen, then sent him home because they didn’t have room to admit him.

Days later, April says Brad’s pulse oximeter dropped into the low 80s. Brad passed out in the shower.

She called an ambulance to get him to the emergency room. Once again, he was not admitted.

At home later that day, Brad had a virtual follow-up with the urgent care doctor, who advised April to take him straight to the emergency room because his pulse oximeter was measuring 89. April told the doctor they were just released from the ER.

They went back to an urgent care facility where Brad got more IV fluids.

Back at home, Brad had a virtual appointment with his primary care doctor, who prescribed oxygen at-home. April says that’s when Brad really started to improve.

Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks.
Jan. 7, 2021 - A Broken Arrow family shares their experience about how some COVID-19 patients can fall through the cracks. (Sailsbury Family)

Brad works in the medical field and they have several friends who are physicians.

April says they gave this advice: have a pulse oximeter at home to measure oxygen, mix Pedialite and juice to keep the patient hydrated, do chest percussions -- pounding on the patient’s chest and back to loosen secretions inside the lungs.

April says she’s worried about patients like Brad who are in the “middle ground” because they are on the edge of becoming critically ill and there’s not a clear standard of care for them while recovering at home.

Brad took two ambulance rides, made two visits to the emergency room, two in-person visits to urgent care, and two virtual visits.

April says they have not received any bills yet, andBrad is back at work full-time and is doing well.

He plans to follow up with a pulmonologist to make sure his lungs are healing.