North Lima family mourns after dad dies in ER, no ICU beds available

Local News

Several months ago, Corey Yoakam's dad, Ron, was told he'd survive several more years with liver cancer

NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WKBN) – A North Lima man is warning people, especially younger adults, to start taking COVID-19 seriously before others, like his father, die.

Several months ago, Corey Yoakam’s dad, Ron, was told he’d survive several more years with liver cancer.

But when Ron’s health started failing late last week, he went to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Boardman. However, Yoakam said there were no ICU beds available on the floors.

“My dad ended up getting ICU care in the emergency room,” Yoakam said.

Corey says the staff did absolutely everything they could, but early Saturday morning, Ron, a retired school teacher, passed away.

“I thought I was going to have one more Christmas with him, and it’s absolutely a punch in the gut now that he is not here,” Yoakam said. “My dad died, and it’s just infuriating to me that people are not taking this seriously.”

Corey blames those who’ve refused to slow the spread of COVID-19 with worsening the pandemic and filling hospital beds that could be used to care for other patients.

As public health officials have been warning for weeks, the strain from both COVID and non-Covid patients is using up available resources and staff. Officials are urging people to stay home, wear a mask and avoid groups.

Yoakam, who is just 30 years old, realizes people just want their normal lives back, but that’s no excuse to ignore what they should be doing.

“I don’t think they understand that people are dying, not just from COVID, but from everyday issues because of their negligence,” Yoakam said.

As Yoakam prepares to bury his dad, he looks for a sliver of a silver lining and that his message is heard.

“I pray this message resonates. Hopefully, somebody else doesn’t have to go through the pain that I am going through right now – that my family is going through,” he said.

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