‘We’re family now’: Central Texas man thanks hospital staff who secured ICU bed for him in New Mexico

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:38 PM CDT
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CLIFTON, Texas (KWTX) - A COVID-19 survivor is back home in Central Texas after a two-week odyssey that involved a local hospital staff saving his life by sending him more than 600 miles away.

“I know if it wasn’t for these people, and what they did for me, I wouldn’t be alive today,” said Mac Robinson during an emotional reunion Wednesday with the staff at Goodall Witcher Hospital in Clifton.

Robinson said he never imagined the joyous reunion when he was fighting for his life.

“When I came into this ER I realized then that I probably wouldn’t go back home,” he said, “I don’t remember a whole lot. They sedated me. I got to talk to my wife for a minute, then woke up 8 or 10 days later in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I’m breathing on my own in ICU.”

Back in August, Robinson was rushed to the rural hospital in Clifton when his COVID-19 symptoms became too much to bare. He soon learned he was too sick to be treated at his local ER and hospitals in the surrounding areas had no ICU beds available.

The staff at Goodall Witcher spent days calling hospitals around Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana in an effort to help Robinson find an ICU bed.

They were met with the same answer: hospitals couldn’t spare a bed. Finally, a hospital in Albuquerque said “yes” and sent a plane to Waco to pick Robinson up.

Joycesarah McCabe, the chief nursing officer at Goodall Witcher, on Wednesday reflected on the frantic search for a bed.

“Please help me save a life today. This is a man who is dearly loved by his family. He really needs somebody to help him. Please help me help him,” said McCabe as she recalled her over-the-phone pleas with other hospitals.

Robinson, a husband and father, never thought the coronavirus would hit him this hard. “I’m feeling stronger and getting better every day,” he said, “Every day has a new meaning to me now.”

“I saw that man who was sick and so it’s so good just to see him now - full of life,” said McCabe.

In the end, the frightening ordeal appears to have created a new friendship between the hard working nurses and a stranger.

“I didn’t know them from anyone and they didn’t know me,” said Robinson, “We’re family now. Whether they like it or not.”

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