A Kaplan man is recovering from COVID-19 in a Lafayette hospital.
Family members say finding him a place for care was harder than they expected as intensive care units across the nation continue to fill.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Health and Human Services, Louisiana’s ICU occupancy is at 75%.
"Once that life is gone, there's no bringing it back so certainly there needed to be a sense of urgency."
Jacques Doucet, Paul Lormand’s godson, says his godfather has struggled with his health for years. Lormand has been battling COVID-19 since December 30th. As his condition got worse, Doucet says they were told he needed to be transferred. Finding a hospital with ICU beds available was difficult.
"It was extremely painful and frustrating. They say they don't have a place to bring Paul so that was a thing over and over again for a number of days that there was no place to bring him and all the beds in Louisiana were full,” Doucet explained.
According to the latest numbers both Our Lady of Lourdes and Ochsner Lafayette General are nearing capacity in the ICUs, each hospital with two ICU beds available.
A spokesperson for Our Lady of Lourdes says they are extending treatment for their ICU patients in other areas to avoid reaching capacity.
"They are doing their very best as is everybody in the medical industry that's being forced to be shoved into the front lines of this pandemic but if he wouldn't have gotten out of there we don't want to think about what could've happened in the next couple of days,” said Doucet.
Doucet may look familiar - he's a sportscaster in Baton Rouge. He even took to Twitter expressing his hope that a bed would be found. Luckily a bed did open up soon after in Lafayette, where he was soon transferred.
"He went from needing 100% on the ventilator to now breathing 50% on his own. Paul is living proof that if you get the care that you need you can recover relatively quickly,” Doucet added.
Limited occupancy is becoming more apparent throughout the state. We're told by Our Lady of Lourdes there are hospitals in Louisiana and as far as Mississippi searching for open transfer beds as a result of the increasing COVID hospitalization rates.
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