ST. LOUIS (NEXSTAR) – A St. Louis doctor is pleading with residents to take precautions against COVID-19, tweeting a simulation video of a patient’s last moments with the message, “I don’t want to be the last person that looks in your frightened eyes.”
Dr. Kenneth E. Remy shared the video early Saturday after an exhausting shift working through the night at Missouri Baptist Medical Center’s intensive care unit.
Dr. Remy reached his breaking point when another patient with COVID-19 died on his watch.
“I had to call the patient’s spouse and let her know he died in the middle of the night,” said Remy. “It’s the worst feeling in your life to call someone to tell them their loved one had passed.”
The doctor says that moment inspired him to make a video simulating a COVID-19 patient’s last moments, in hopes of sending a strong message.
In the video, Remy leans over the camera in full protective gear, showing what dying COVID-19 patients see in their last moments.
“This is what it looks like when you breathe 40 times a minute, have an oxygen level dipping well below 80,” Remy says, moving the lens to simulate a patient struggling to take in breaths. “I hope that the last moments of your life don’t look like this.”
In early November, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spiked in the state of Missouri, COVID Tracking Project data show. Remy called the situation “dire.”
“I promise you, this is what your mother, your father or your children will see when they get COVID disease at the end of their life,” Remy continued in the video. “This is serious. I beg you, please practice the precautions to reduce transmission of COVID disease so that we can effectively prevent disease for you and your loved ones.”
Remy says the video isn’t a scare tactic but instead a wake up call to use masks, practice social distancing and avoid gathering in groups.
“I have no interest in scaring people, I just want people to know that preventive measures will help with the disease transmission,” said Remy. “I have confidence that the vaccines that are coming will work but in the meantime we have to all come together and really take personal responsibility.”
In the beginning of the pandemic, Remy says he worked two and half months straight, with no days off. He says while working around the clock healthcare workers are still dedicated to providing the best care.
“We are fatigued but we are not fatigued from caring, we are not fatigued from delivering the best healthcare,” said Remy. “If you are sick don’t delay going to the hospital, delaying your care could cost you your life.”
The United States has now recorded more than 12,397,480 cases and 250,925 deaths from COVID-19, according to The COVID Tracking Project.