UPDATE: Bob Cameron, 87, was transferred to the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo Tuesday, Oct. 12.
HALLOCK, Minn. — Julie Lindegard's 87-year-old dad Bob Cameron is well known in Kittson County. He was the Veteran Service officer for nearly two decades. Sunday morning, Oct. 10, he was rushed to Kittson Healthcare with an internal gastrointestinal bleed.
The Army veteran was supposed to be transferred within minutes to a larger medical center for life saving treatment. Nearly 48 hours later, he remains trapped at the rural health care center that can't help him long term.
"This is hell. He doesn't deserve this," Lindegard said. "The doctors here don't deserve this."
For the second day in a row, the Minnesota State Patrol made a life-saving supply delivery from Fargo.
"Thankfully they were able to get plasma and platelets up, here otherwise he probably wouldn't be here now," Lindegard said.
Complicating the transfer process, Cameron tested positive for coronavirus, despite getting his booster shot.
"We are here to tell you this is real, and this is what we are living through," Lindegard said.
There is not a single hospital in North Dakota or Minnesota that has a bed for Bob Cameron. They are short-staffed and overrun with COVID-19 patients — almost all of them unvaccinated.
"We aren't bursting at the seams," said Kittson Healthcare CEO Gabe Mooney. "It's that we are caring for patients we normally wouldn't care for."
Kittson Healthcare is a 15-bed facility. Critical-care patients are usually transferred in minutes, but that has not been the case for the past couple of weeks.
"There is a different comfort level of what we are used to system we have in space, so there are some uncomfortable at times," Mooney said.
Mooney says doctors and nurses are also being forced to spend more time on the phone finding beds for patients, taking time away from those who rely on them.
"They are our angels on earth, we are so thankful for them," Lindegard said.
Bob Cameron's family knows time to save him is running out. As they pray for a miracle, they pray those who are hesitant to get vaccinated have a change of heart.
"Maybe we can change a few lives, maybe we can change a few minds, maybe we can save a few lives," Lindegard said. "We just don't know what's going to happen with us."