Since a Michigan doctor penned a Facebook post earlier this month detailing the aggressive and combative responses he has faced from eight patients seriously ill with COVID-19, six of those patients have died.
On Sept. 11, Michigan pulmonologist Matthew Trunsky listed eight incidents in the preceding two days in which patients declined to heed his medical advice. The post has so far received nearly 3,000 engagements and has been shared more than 1,400 times.
In an interview with The Washington Post published Friday, Trunsky said six of the eight patients he mentioned in his Facebook post have since died.
“We are physically tired as a whole, me included, and we are emotionally exhausted," he said. "I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t see someone pass away."
In his Facebook post, Trunsky mentioned one patient who told him he was "too healthy. I don’t have Covid. I’m fine" when the patient was actually "fighting for his life."
Various patients demanded medications that have not been approved for treating COVID-19 such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.
Another patient told Trunsky, "I’d rather die [than] take the vaccine," to which he responded in his post by writing, "You may get your wish."
Trunsky said the wife of one patient who had died of COVID-19 told him, "I would never feel comfortable recommending the vaccine for family and friends."
"This is not to mention the anger the people have towards the physicians in the nurses who are really doing our best — and who are delivering exceptionally excellent care. Of course the answer was to have been vaccinated — but they were not and now they’re angry at the medical community for their failure," Trunsky wrote. "Numbers are on the rise. Get your vaccine."
Earlier in the pandemic, Trunsky recalled calling a woman to tell her that her brother had died, only for her to preempt his news by saying, "Look, my mother died, my father died, my brother died and I don’t want any bad news.”
However, Trunsky told the Post that the COVID-19 patients he can no longer recall, due to the sheer number he has treated, make him sadder than those phone calls.
The pulmonologist said the approval of COVID-19 vaccines lifted morale in his hospital at first, but it quickly fell when vaccination rates stalled and new variants caused hospitals to fill up once again.
Regardless of why some unvaccinated patients chose not to get immunized, Trunsky said to the newspaper that “they are paying the price, and they are getting mad at us.”