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Oklahoma woman with COVID-19 can’t find care in state

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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MEAD, Oklahoma (KXII) - The Oklahoma Health Department says the state has seen a nearly 40% increase in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the month. The state says there are 135 hospital beds open for COVID-19 patients, but one Texoma man has had to struggle to find a bed for his wife.

“This isn’t a laughing matter,” Lynn Cronemiller said.

Lynn Cronemiller’s wife, Kathy, has been in the hospital with COVID-19 since Oct. 5.

“Her lungs are still inflamed. It’s been 25 days,” Lynn Cronemiller said.

The two are Oklahoma residents, but she is in a Fort Worth hospital.

“I just go down there and park the motor home in the parking lot," Lynn Cronemiller said.

At first, Kathy Cronemiller was at the Chickasaw hospital in Ada, but she needed a higher level of care for a blood clot and gastrointestinal bleeding. When Lynn Cronemiller began looking, hospitals in southeastern Oklahoma didn’t have room for another COVID-19 patient.

“When we were in Ada, we were not able to find a hospital in Oklahoma period,” Lynn Cronemiller said.

This is contrary to what Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a press conference on Oct. 20.

“We have tremendous capacity in Oklahoma. Anything we need to we could issue some of the executive orders that we did in March that limited elective surgeries to create tremendous capacity, but... we don’t want to mandate those kinds of things for the hospitals,” Stitt said at the conference.

“The hospital situation is not fine. I don’t know what he’s trying to do there,” Lynn Cronemiller said. “He’s a politician. They get them all the help they want. They don’t get us the help that we need.”

Lynn Cronemiller says his wife’s experience with COVID-19 has been a huge rollercoaster.

“You fix one thing then another thing happens. You fix that, then another thing,” Lynn Cronemiller said.

Right now, Kathy Cronemiller is healing from holes in her lungs while doctors monitor her vitals. Lynn Cronemiller is going to stay by her side as close as he can.

“Yesterday they were able to put an iPad in her room and we were able to stay on the line and talk to her. Just like a conversation so she can hear your voice," Lynn Cronemiller said.

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