COVID-19 makes hospital treatment difficult for La Crosse patients who don’t have the virus

A local mom is taking her son home from the hospital for what she believes will be better treatment

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – COVID-19 is making treatment difficult for hospital patients who don’t even have the virus.

A local mom is taking her son home from the hospital for what she believes will be better treatment.

“It’s been a long road from day one,” Amy Nolte said. “But it’s getting more difficult the older he gets.”

Amy’s son, Joe, who was born at 24 weeks 25 years ago, has complex medical issues.

She says Joe has battled cancer and even suffered a stroke before developing problems with sepsis.

“He’s definitely a fighter,” Amy said.

For the past three years, Joe has suffered from kidney infections, UTIs and sepsis, she said.

This past Monday, Joe was admitted to the intensive care unit at Gundersen Health System.

Joe is on his third battle with sepsis since April, Amy said.

“By Monday morning, he had gotten sick enough spiking 103 (degree) temps at home that it brings us in here,” she said.

Amy says she has certain steps in place that makes Joe’s medical care easier, but COVID-19 is making treatment more difficult.

“We have some really great regular staff that we see a lot, and even talking to them they’re like, ‘I don’t know how long I can do this,'” Amy said. “Like it’s not this is a bad place to work or anything, it’s just where healthcare is in general right now.”

Amy’s story is not unique, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Because of rising cases of COVID-19, Dr. Ryan Westergaard says hospital systems statewide are strained.

“We’ve lost a lot of healthcare workers,” Westergaard said. “I think as everyone knows, it’s been reported that we’ve had early retirements. People are tired.”

Amy says a Gundersen spokesman is aware of her concerns.

We asked the spokesman to respond, but he said doing would violate privacy rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Amy says she was waited hours for staff to get Joe what he needs, leaving her with few options.

“Which is why we’re leaving today, because I feel like I have the things I need to take care of Joe more at home than they do here,” Amy said.

In Amy’s view, there is one solution to turn health-care treatment around for not only her son, but for other families: getting everybody vaccinated.

“It’s scary to just think that this is what health care is potentially going to look like for the future,” she said.

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