CHILTON CO., Ala. (WBRC) - The family of a Chilton County man diagnosed with COVID-19, claims he had to be flown out of state in search of an ICU bed.
Missy Early said her father 73-year-old Jimmy Kromer was airlifted to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville, Tennessee Friday; he’d tested positive for COVID-19 the previous day.
“That’s the hardest part for us not being there with him because somebody is always there,” cried Early. “From what I understand there were no beds in the state of Alabama. No COVID ICU beds.”
Early said her mom, who also tested positive, was taking the separation the hardest. The couple had been married since 1967 and never spent much time apart.
"When he's been in the ICU before my mom stays by his side. We have pictures of her feeding him. My mom doesn't leave him when he's in the hospital," Early explained.
Early said as soon as her mom got a negative COVID-19 test they planned to head to Tennessee to be with her dad. She said even then, they’ll have to stay behind a glass door.
Early said her dad has comorbidities that leave him especially vulnerable.
“Chronic COPD, emphysema, immune deficiency, protein C deficiency, we’ve got a list two miles long,” she named.
The family did everything right, according to Early, but she believed her parents were mistakenly exposed by a family member who was dropping off food. That family member later tested positive for COVID-19 as well.
Early warned others to take the virus seriously so they do not have to go through what her family is going through.
She said the family leaned on their faith that Komer would pull through.
He’s a fighter, he is. He’s like a cat, he’s got nine lives. He’s already proven that when the doctors told us Two or three different times that he probably wouldn’t come out of the hospital and he’s proven them wrong each time.”
WBRC has reached out to the Alabama Department of Public Health for the status of COVID ICU availability, we will update this article when we hear back,