A former Sugar Grove Fire Department firefighter died shortly after being disconnected from a ventilator, even though his condition had seemed to be improving.
According to a GoFundMe page made in his honor, Fred Fellella Jr., age 58, battled a Coronavirus infection for three weeks and was hospitalized before passing away.
Fred J. Felella Jr. passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 12:15 p.m. from the coronavirus infection. According to Roy R. Kopstain III, former firefighter Fred Felella battled the Coronavirus infection for three weeks and at one point showed some improvement. However, after coming off the ventilator for only 30 minutes Sunday, he crashed fast as his kidneys and liver completely shut down.
The doctors put him back on the ventilator at 70% FiO2. Oxygen delivery above 60% can be toxic and damage the lungs. Medical staff might start at 100% and then titrate down using guidance by pulse oximetry device — the device placed on a finger that measure oxygen saturation in the blood. A tracheotomy for airway management was considered, but the decision was made not to perform the tracheotomy.
The medical staff at Mercy Hospital on Sunday called Felella’s daughter Amanda to return to the hospital to “say last goodbyes”. Felella’s ventilator tube was removed, and Amanda wore full protective gear as she held his hand. Fred was awake and squeezed her hand and he had tears in his eyes. She said everything she needed to say to him, but he could not respond because the endotracheal tube that had previously been in his throat for a prolonged period caused his vocal chords to become swollen. Laryngotracheal stenosis is a well known risk of prolonged endotracheal intubation.
When the medical staff disconnected Fred from the ventilator, he passed away only 30 minutes later, as Amanda stayed by his side.
According to the gofundme page closing paragraph, Freddy Jr. wanted a celebration of his life instead of a funeral. A memorial honor will be held by the Sugar Grove Fire Department at a later date.
Roy R. Kopstain III is organized the gofundme fundraiser.
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