Dr Sonal Bhakta, chief medical officer at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, filmed two men from ‘very different walks of life’ who are each hooked up to ventilators.
Neither of the men had been vaccinated before contracting the virus.
Bhakta told DailyMail.com that she wanted to show the reality of what it means to fall severely ill with COVID-19.
‘It’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for our nurses, our respiratory therapists, our physicians,’ she said.
‘We see that this is preventable. And it breaks our hearts that people aren’t understanding that vaccines make this preventable.’
Dr Sonal Bhakta, chief medical officer at Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, shared videos of two unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in the ICU, including a 40-year-old father who is the founder and president of a non-profit organization (above)
The other patient is a 51-year-old father-of-two and a law enforcement officer (left). Bhakta (right ) said she shared the videos so people can understand the dangers of not being vaccinated
In Arkansas, COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed over the last month from an average of 990 per day to 2,218 per day, a 124 percent jump, a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins shows.
Over the same time period, hospitalizations have risen from 488 patients to 1,227 – the second-highest figure recorded since the pandemic began – a 99 percent spike, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A regional report about the virus in Northwest Arkansas, where Mercy is located, showed there are 166 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, nearly double the 95 recorded on July 25.
The average age is 42 years old and 91 percent of all patients are unvaccinated.
‘We’ve had a large influx of Covid patients and we’re still climbing numbers in the area in hospitalizations,’ Bhakta told DailyMail.com.
‘They’re younger, they’re sicker and they’re requiring the ventilator more often…It’s creating a lot of desperate situations, a lot of critical staffing issues.’
The surge inspired Bhakta to begin filming what it’s like to treat these patients in ICUs who come from a wide range of backgrounds.
‘It’s hard to understand the reality of the situation unless you see it and live it, ‘se she said.
‘They are parents, they have kids at home [and they] many not be able to go back home. I feel like some people don’t understand that concept. That’s one of the aspects I wanted to display.’
In the video, filmed on August 5, it begins with Bhakta outside the room of 51-year-old patient on a ventilator who is a father of two and a law enforcement officer.
The unnamed man had not been vaccinated but his wife has gotten her first dose by the time of filming and was planning to get her second shot.
‘Unfortunately he is very critically ill at this time…He is on high ventilator settings as well as dialysis. Only 51,’ Bhakta says in the clip.
In Arkansas, COVID-19 cases have risen 124% in a month from an average of 990 per day to 2,218 per day, according to Johns Hopkins
The video then switches to another COVID-19 patient on a ventilator, a 40-year-old father to an 11-year-old daughter, who was also not vaccinated.
Bhakta says the man is the founder and president of a non-profit organization who loves attending races, helping others and spending time with his family and friends.
‘He married his childhood sweetheart, and their anniversary is today,’ she says in the video.
‘He is in critically ill condition requiring very high [ventilator] settings.’
As of Friday morning, both men are still hospitalized and on ventilators.
Hospitals across the U.S. have been urging Americans to get vaccinated to relieve the pressure facing ICUs.
Bhakta hope the clip shows the dangers of being unvaccinated and that it’s not just older people who are falling severely ill.
‘Please get the vaccine. The vaccine is safe. Please do it for others,’ she said.