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How? Detroit nurse twice refused test for COVID-19 found dead days before 54th birthday

Lisa Ewald Detroit nurse
Pictured, Lisa Ewald Detroit nurse who died from COVID-19. Image via social media.
Lisa Ewald Detroit nurse
Pictured, Lisa Ewald Detroit nurse who died from COVID-19. Image via social media.

Lisa Ewald Detroit nurse dies from COVID-19 after treating coronavirus patient despite pleading twice to be tested after believing herself to be susceptible. At what cost to health-carers on the frontline?  

A nurse who believed she’d contracted COVID-19 while treating a patient at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has been found dead at her Michigan home just days after she was twice denied a coronavirus test because she did not show severe symptoms.

Lisa Ewald’s body was discovered inside her living room in Dearborn, Michigan, by a friend on Wednesday – just days before her 54th birthday.

Friends and family described Ewald as a happy and optimistic person who was known to have asthma.

Despite her underlying health condition, she was willing to risk her life to help others, according to her family.

‘She dedicated her life to obviously healthcare and helping other people, but also to my grandmother,’ Ewald’s niece, Candace Ewald, told WXYZ-TV.

Joseph Lenard, a friend of Ewald, said: ‘We all knew the initial news that this was going to hit the US but she gave no care or concern for herself but only care and concern for others.’

What culpability does Henry Ford Health System bear? 

‘There are not adequate words to describe how saddened we are,’ Wright Lassiter III, the president and CEO of the Henry Ford Health System, said on Friday the dailymail reports.

Continuing, ‘Our hearts ache for our employee’s family, friends and colleagues.

‘As health care providers on the front lines of this pandemic, we know we are not immune to its traumatic effects.

‘We continue to fight with every resource we have to protect our employees and provide the safest care to our patients.

‘Because of patient privacy obligations, we cannot share additional information.’

Define reasonable precautions employers ought to be taking on behalf of front line carers?

Ewald had been working at Ford Hospital for the past 20 years as a nurse. She most recently specialized in post-surgery rehab, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Her niece and nephew, Mandi and Micah Standifer of Shelby Townships, described Ewald as a jokester and a ‘nerd in the best way.’

Ewald was a frequent visitor at the annual Motor City Comic Con. She was also a huge fan of the Star Trek series and the Harry Potter franchise.

‘It’s hard to believe this even happened, because she was so full of life,’ said Micah Standifer, 35.

‘She’s the person you would expect to beat it.’

Ewald also loved to travel and was an active member of the Wayne County Republican Party.

Mandi, 32, told the Free Press that Ewald believed that she contracted coronavirus while treating a patient who would later test positive.

Ewald told Standifer that she was not wearing a mask while tending to the patient.

In late March, when Ewald twice asked hospital staff to be tested for COVID-19, she was turned away because her symptoms were not severe enough at the time.

Carly Ewald, another niece, told WJBK-TV that her aunt lost her sense of smell and taste as her condition deteriorated.

By the time she managed to get tested, it was too late. She tested positive while exhibiting full-blown symptoms of COVID-19, including a persistently high fever and a cough.

‘I’m sorry she was alone, and I that I love her,’ Carly said.

‘She just loved the family and she just loved everybody and she just wanted to make sure everybody was okay all the time,’ another niece, Candace Ewald, said.

‘She always wanted to make sure everybody was okay.’

When asked about testing employees, Henry Ford Health System said: ‘Regarding employee testing, we adhere strictly to the CDC guidelines.

‘Currently, the CDC recommends testing employees only when they become symptomatic.’

3 Detroit nurses succumb to COVID-19- could their deaths have been averted?

Ewald’s death comes as two other healthcare professionals contracting coronavirus over the weekend. 

Divinia Accad, 72, a long-time nurse at the VA’s John D. Dingell Medical Center in Detroit, died on Monday of complications of the coronavirus, after 11 days in hospice. Her death was the first known fatality from the coronavirus among health-care workers in the Detroit area.

Accad died as she planned to retire from nursing, her son, Mark Accad, told the Free Press on Friday.

Mark Accad said his mother spent 11 days in the hospital after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

He said he was able to see her twice, but was denied a third visit. 

Mark Accad said his final visit with his mother was at the morgue. 

James House, a 40-year-old nurse at a Detroit nursing home, died after falling ill.

Though he was never tested for COVID-19, his sister Catrisha House-Phelphs told the Free Press Friday that her brother worked at Omni Continuing Care on Conner in Detroit.

Before he died, House exhibited symptoms of the disease, including shortness of breath, dry cough, and a low-grade fever.

House, a resident of Warren, started feeling sick two weeks ago, according to House-Phelphs.

She said that when he tried to get tested at a drive-up site, he was turned away.

House was told to go home and wait a week.

On Tuesday, he went to work, but within hours he fell ill. A few hours later, he was hospitalized.

That same day, he was pronounced dead.

‘Things moved so fast,’ she said.

‘It was like within a couple of hours of him being admitted, he had passed away.’ 

And then there were these reactions on social media that captured this author’s attention, see what you think?