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Arizona woman shares reality of patients admitted to hospitals with limited capacity

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Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-19 20:00:29-05

GILBERT, AZ — One woman tells ABC15, the sister station of KGUN 9, she is experiencing, first-hand, the effects of area hospitals being slammed.

Susan Morgan says she's in need of potentially life-saving surgery, but can't get it due to an already taxed healthcare system.

She tells ABC15 she's terrified of what tomorrow will bring if she isn’t able to get the treatment she needs.

“They’re full. They’re busting at the seams with patients,” she added.

Morgan described what she saw at Mercy Gilbert Hospital before she was released.

She made it a point to say that medical staff caring for her went above and beyond to do what they could to help.

Something she is incredibly thankful for, given how busy they were.

“It’s like non-stop. You turn around and there’s one more patient that’s behind diagnosed with COVID,” she told ABC15.

Morgan says a month ago that was her, needing medical attention after getting COVID-19.

“Because of that I have several blood clots in my lungs, and so they put me on blood thinners. So all of a sudden, last Monday…in the middle of the night I started gushing blood," she said.

This is why she now has rhino rockets in her nose, which are medical devices used to stop chronic nosebleeds.

“The issue is when they take these out, am I going to bleed out because no ENT surgeon will cauterize my nose?” she asked.

Though Morgan stressed, hospital staff tried their best to find a surgeon willing to do the potentially life-saving procedure.

However, that was not a possibility.

“Because of all the hospitals being full because of COVID patients, they were unable to transfer me to a hospital that has an ENT surgeon that would actually agree to work on me,” Morgan told ABC15.

So, when she was stable enough to be sent home, Morgan was discharged.

“They need that bed for that other COVID patient,” she added, with an understanding tone.

She now finds herself at home, with her 9-year-old son TJ, hoping he doesn’t see her with the rhino rockets in her nose for much longer.

“A lot of fear. A lot of anxiety. I don’t want to leave my son,” she said when describing a worst-case scenario, should she not get the help she needs.

ABC15 reached out to Dignity Health about their hospital capacity.

In a statement, a spokesperson said:

“At this time, Dignity Health in Arizona has limited, but available capacity. We are not publicly releasing specific numbers regarding capacity and COVID-19 patients because the matter remains very fluid.

Over the past few weeks, statewide hospitalizations have significantly increased with COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. We are taking every possible measure to improve capacity while ensuring our patients receive effective medical treatment.

We understand how difficult this pandemic has been for everyone, and we urge the community to continue to practice behaviors known to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and to receive COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. These simple actions are effective in minimizing an increased surge in our state.”

While Morgan says she understands the hospital’s hands are tied, she is still hopeful a surgeon will be able to treat her.

“I’m praying for a Christmas miracle....and I just need someone to help me,” she told ABC15 in tears.

Morgan says she will be going to go to St. Joseph’s, first thing Sunday morning, to try her luck there.

It is important to note, Mercy Gilbert Hospital is not alone.

This week we’ve heard of people struggling to get procedures and immediate care at hospitals around the Valley.

Most are strained and have to prioritize care.

Their reality: too many patients, not enough beds, and staff to treat everyone.