But the 73-year-old became an indirect victim of Covid-19 patients filling hospitals and ICU beds.
“In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non COVID related emergencies,” the obituary read.
“Due to COVID 19, CRMC emergency staff contacted 43 hospitals in 3 states in search of a Cardiac ICU bed and finally located one in Meridian, MS. He would not want any other family to go through what his did.”
DeMonia went to Cullman Regional Medical Center on August 23 because he was having heart problems, Raven DeMonia told the Post.
Eventually, the staff found an ICU bed at Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi, the daughter told the Post.
“It was like, ‘What do you mean?'” she told the Post.
Citing privacy reasons, a spokesperson for Cullman Regional Medical Center, would not offer specifics on Ray DeMonia’s case when asked by the Post but did confirm that Ray DeMonia was “a patient in our care and was transferred to a different facility.”
“The level of care he required was not available at Cullman Regional,” Jennifer Malone told the Post.
“When patients are transported to other facilities to receive care that they need, that’s becoming increasingly more difficult because all hospitals are experiencing an increased lack of bed space,” Malone said.
CNN has tried to contact members of Ray DeMonia’s family and has reached out to the Cullman Regional Medical Center for comment.
DeMonia had suffered a stroke in April 2020, his daughter said. Even though the pandemic was already taking hold across the country, it took the local hospital just three hours to find a “Covid-free” hospital about 50 miles from Cullman, in nearby Birmingham, Alabama, Raven DeMonia said.
Ray DeMonia loved antiques and had been in the business for about four decades, running DeMonia’s Antiques and Auctions, according to his obituary, his daughter said.
The man who “traveled the country gathering antiques and sharing his wealth of knowledge,” died September 1, just three days before his 74th birthday.
“Dad would just want everything to get back to normal,” Raven DeMonia told the Post.
“If people would just realize the strain on hospital resources that’s happening right now, then that would be really amazing. But I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.”