An Alabama man who was in dire need of medical attention after suffering a cardiac emergency was forced to go to a hospital 200 miles away because all the ICU beds in the area were filled with COVID-19 patients.

The family of Ray DeMonia says the 73 year-old resident of Cullman, Alabama died on September 1st in the ICU at a hospital in Meridian, Mississippi. According to NPR, the family says he had no choice but to go to a hospital so far away, because they could not find a nearby hospital that could treat him. DeMonia was vaccinated against Covid-19.

This is what the family wrote in DeMonia’s obituary.

“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.”

“In honor of Ray, please get vaccinated if you have not, in an effort to free up resources for non COVID related emergencies …He would not want any other family to go through what his did.”

The CRMC refers to the Cullman Regional Medical Center, which made efforts to contact the other hospitals in hopes of finding an ICU bed. The local NBC affiliate, WTVM Ch. 13  reported that the medical center was overrun with COVID-19 cases, dealing with 80 ill patients — 11 of them on ventilators.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, ICU capacity in Alabama has reached capacity in recent weeks, with  COVID-19 patients taking up about half of the beds in ICUs.

“Dad would just want everything to get back to normal. 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.” – Raven DeMonia to The Washington Post

While there are so-called breakthrough cases of vaccinated people being hospitalized, a study released last week by the CDC indicates those unvaccinated are far more likely to become infected, hospitalized and to die from COVID-19.