Services for Edward Hellm, Jr. who succumbed to COVID-19 will be held on Monday, May 11, 2020.
The Funeral Service will be streaming live at this link: https://youtu.be/mizOIW4PYYg at William C. Harris Funeral Directors around 4:00pm immediately following the Viewing. Also, join us for continuing discussion and advocacy for Black Americans affected by the Coronavirus on Facebook at: Black Corona Lives Matter.
Your tax-deductible donation to A Red Circle in honor of Mr. Hellm, Jr., will support our efforts in assisting the residents of North County, St. Louis, MO during this pandemic. We thank the Hellm family for their kind consideration during this difficult time.
(…A CALL TO ACTION…)
ST. LOUIS, MO: Edward (Eddie) Hellm, Jr., a 69 year old African American Father of four sons; Husband, Veteran, Retiree & Realtor was fighting the biggest battle of his life – the pandemic infused Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. On 3/27/20, Mr. Hellm, Jr. visited his primary care Dr. Michael Spezia (near Lucas-Hunt/Natural Bridge Rd.) with complaints of chills and body aches. He was told to rest & prescribed Claritin! 3 days later with the urging of his wife, Eddie called in an uproar about how much pain he was having & chills. He was prescribed an antibiotic & cough medicine with no testing, despite his doctor knowing of other underlying health conditions. The Hellms called the COVID-19 hotline twice expressing their concerns & was told to continue the meds as he most likely had strep throat! These are horrifying examples of disservice which leads to mistrust by black people of those we are expected to entrust our lives to.
3 days later, Mrs. Hellm drove her husband to the ER at Progress West Hospital near their home in O’Fallon, MO. He was immediately sedated, intubated with the ventilator & tested for the virus. 24 hours later results revealed that he was in-fact POSITIVE! 2 days later (04/05/20), Eddie was transported by ambulance to Barnes-Jewish Hospital (BJC) to their Intensive Care Unit (ICU). His family is not able to be at his side, but are allowed sporadic video viewings of him via text alerts. Every hospital should follow the Louisiana examples of palliative/hospice care which allows family to visit critically ill coronavirus patients with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
St. Louis, MO is a leading medical & research center world-wide, yet carries one of the highest cases & deaths for its black demographic from the virus. Washington University, BJC is leading a blood plasma transfusion trial of antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients to those critically ill from the virus. Mrs. Hellm has the universal O-negative blood type & asked if she could donate to help save his life. She was declined being told she might not have the necessary antibodies–what if she does or is immune? She has been exposed to her husband not realizing he has the disease. Does that not give cause to at least test her? Through our own research we found Dr. Rachel Presti & a team of doctors, including Dr. Jeffrey Henderson, are over the trial program using patients in ICU at BJC where Eddie is!
These type of scenarios are what leads to suspicions of racism.
ABC-TV anchorman, George Stephanopoulos is donating blood to clinical trials for plasma & antibodies tests after being diagnosed with COVID-19. His wife suffered terribly with the virus but he barely noticed any symptoms. Why is Mrs. Hellm not given the same consideration? Eddie’s son Brian asked, but his father was declined the anti-viral drug, Remdesivir trial being led by Dr. Sarah George at St. Louis Univ. He was told BJC had limited supply & his father’s condition had worsened too far. Is Mr. Hellm, Jr. a candidate for the Ecmo machine used at times for patients no longer benefitting from the ventilator? No one had discussed this option with the family. Now, 4 weeks later, the family is advised to prepare for the worse and consider disconnecting their loved one from his ventilator.
Is this black family receiving equitable access to treatment?
UPDATE: On Monday, 04/27/20, Mr. Edward Hellm, Jr. died from complications of COVID-19.
BLACK CORONA LIVES MATTER!! We need HELP! We must flatten & end the disproportionate curve of black lives in America being infected by this deathly, COVID-19 disease.
The Call for Action is Now!!
#BlackCoronaLivesMatter / #BCLV
Join us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackcoronalivesmatter.
In St. Louis, MO (and abroad), African Americans are being diagnosed and dying from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at an alarming rate. Lady J is spearheading the Black Corona Lives Matter initiative to seek answers and support for this demographic while quarantined due to autoimmune disorders.
Joyce “Lady J” Huston, Cousin, Patient Advocate, [email protected]