April 16, 2020
A police officer in Santa Rosa, California — MaryLou Amer — died at the age of 43 after she experienced symptoms of COVID-19 but was unable to get tested early enough.
The family and loved ones of Santa Rosa California Police officer MaryLou Amer are mourning the loss of their wife, daughter, sister, friend, and colleague who passed away due to COVID-19 complications.
MaryLou, who was 43 years old, had experienced symptoms that were flu-like and decided to get tested for COVID-19 as the viral infection was beginning to spread across various states in America.
On getting to the Kaiser Permanente's Vallejo Medical Center, the officer was denied the test two times because her age and lack of medical underlying conditions did not put her at risk of being infected.
Seeing as she was not going to get tested, MaryLou had to go back home but was rushed back a few days later when her situation significantly worsened. By the time the test was carried out on her, it was too late.
Her older sister Mari Lau explained that by the time MaryLou's husband took her back to the emergency unit, she had a dangerously low level of oxygen in her bloodstream and needed to be sedated.
The hospital staff had to sedate her and put her in a medically induced coma as her condition had deteriorated terribly. It was at this point the test was done, and it came back positive for COVID-19.
MaryLou joined the police force because of her enthusiasm for protecting the lives of others.
A few days after being admitted to the hospital and isolated, MaryLou died on March 31st, never coming out of the coma and away from loved ones and families.
In a statement by the hospital, the national infectious disease expert, Dr. David Witt, expressed that the reason they had not tested MaryLou was because of a limited number of test kits available. He also said:
"We [the hospital} offer heartfelt sympathies to Detective Armer's family and loved ones at this profoundly difficult time."
Before her condition worsened, MaryLou had confided in her elder sister Lau that she was feeling sick, and the sickness was not like any of the other illnesses she had experienced.
Speaking of her sister and days leading to her death, Lau expressed that her sister's condition would progress significantly before plummeting again.
While no member of her family could see her, the family made voice recordings and sent them to hospital staff to play for MaryLou while in a coma.
MaryLou, who joined the police force because of her enthusiasm for protecting the lives of others, was a member of the sexual and domestic violence unit until her death.