Opfer’s Voice: “This was US Army veteran Daniel Wilkinson, on an emergency room stretcher, shortly before his death.”
Michel Puget: “He loved his country, he served twice in Afghanistan, he came home with a purple heart, and it was a gallstone that got him out.”
Over’s Voice: “Last Saturday, Wilkinson’s mother, Michelle Puget, drove him to Bellevue Medical Center, just three doors away from their house, but for Wilkinson, help was still a long way off.”
Doctor. Hassan Kakli: “I do labs on it, I get labs, labs are back, I’m on the computer, and I have one of those ‘Oh, crap’ moments.”
Over’s Voice: “Emergency physician Hassan Kackley treated Wilkinson, and found out he had biliary pancreatitis, something Belleville Hospital was not equipped to treat.”
Kackley: “If this stone doesn’t come out spontaneously and doesn’t dissolve on its own, then this fluid just builds up, goes back to the liver, goes back to the pancreas, and starts shutting down those organs. His blood even showed that his kidneys were closed.”
BEGNAUD: “This went from life-threatening to…”
Kackley: “He’s dying.”
BEGNAUD: “In front of you.”
VOICEOVER: “Wilkinson needed a higher level of care, but with hospitals all over Texas and much of the South teeming with COVID patients, there was no room for him.”
Kackley: “We’re making phone calls. ‘Sorry sorry sorry.’ There were specialists in places to do this procedure, but given how sick he was, they didn’t have an ICU bed to put him in. So I’m at my computer and I’m just, like, I’m scratching my head, and I take this idea in my head, I’m like, “” Well, what if I put this on Facebook or something, maybe someone can help?” One of the doctors texted me saying, ‘Hey, I’m in Missouri. Last time I checked we had ICU beds. We can do that.’ Call. Call this number.’ The next guy texts me. He’s a gastroenterologist. He goes, I’m in Austin. I can do this procedure. Bring him to me. I said, “Okay, great, let’s go.” He texted me five minutes later, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t get On administrative approval to accept it. We are full.”
Over’s voice: “For about seven hours, Wilkinson waited in this bed.”
Kackley: “I had this thought in my head, it’s like, ‘I want to bring his mother here.’ I told her, ‘If he doesn’t do this procedure, he’s going to die.’ I also had to have a discussion with him and I said, ‘If your heart stops in front of me here, what do you want? me to do? Do you want me to do everything in our power to revive you or try to get your heart back?” And I said, “If that were to happen, Dan, if I were to bring you back, we are still in the position we are in right now.”
BEGNAUD: “What did he say?”
Kackley: “He said, ‘I want to talk to my mom about it. ” [Cries]”
VOICEOVER: “Finally, a bed opened at VA Hospital in Houston. It was a helicopter ride.”
Kackley: “He said, ‘Oh, man, I promised myself after Afghanistan I’d never be in a helicopter again. “Oh, well, I suppose,” he said.
Over’s Voice: “Here’s a video of Daniel being flown to Houston, but it was too late.”
Puget: “They couldn’t operate on him because it was too long and they told me they saw air pockets in his intestines, which meant they were really starting to die. They told me they had to make a decision, and I knew how Daniel felt. He didn’t want it to be that way, So we were all in agreement that we had to let him go.”
Over’s Voice: “About 24 hours after entering the emergency room, Daniel Wilkinson passed away at the age of 46.”
Kackley: “I’ve never lost a patient from this diagnosis. Never. Because we know what to do and we know how to deal with it, we get them where we need to go. I’m afraid the next patient I see is someone I can’t reach where they need to get to. We We play musical chairs with 100 people and 10 chairs. When the music stops, what happens? People from all over the world come to Houston for medical care, and right now Houston can’t take care of patients from the next city. That’s the truth.”
BEGNAUD: “Dr. Kackley says if we hadn’t been in this crisis it would have taken 30 minutes to get Daniel out the door. It would have taken seven hours.”
Killing yourself with the vaccine and refusing the mask is one thing. Of course, this is not recommended, but it is clearly not the same as negligently killing another human being. Yet somewhere along the line, a large percentage of our fellow Americans decided it wasn’t enough to drink yourself to death – you needed to drive drunk too, lest your “liberties” be snatched from you in the dead of night.
Dan Wilkinson’s death is a direct result of that violent misinterpretation of our sacred liberties. We hope that people will begin to understand that the freedoms so dear to them must include the right to strive not only for freedom and happiness but also for life.
It’s not just about one person and their freedoms, after all. It is about all of us. This is what these people never understood.