COVID-19 Patient With Lungs Destroyed by Ventilator Is Set to Be Taken Off Life-Saving Machines, His Wife Says

By Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Freelance reporter
Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.
March 17, 2023Updated: March 27, 2023

The hospital accused of destroying the lungs of a COVID-19 patient by leaving him on a ventilator for more than a year, now wants to remove the very life-saving machines that the man is dependent upon to live, according to his wife.

Judy Boudreaux says Bethesda North Hospital first told her on March 15 that they were going to remove her husband, Mark Boudreaux—the Hall of Fame designer of some of the most iconic Star Wars toys—from the mechanical ventilator he relies on to breathe because has a living will that says it’s his dying wish not have his life “artificially prolonged.”

“They ambushed me at the hospital at a care conference meeting,” Judy Boudreaux told The Epoch Times.

“They had a lawyer from Risk Management, a pastor, and others there. I felt blindsided.”

She doesn’t agree with the decision, pointing out the many times that her husband, who has lost his ability to speak, has written “I want to live” on a pad of paper.

Mark Boudreaux’s living will directive is based on his being in an “incurable and irreversible condition,” Judy Boudreaux, who has power of attorney, points out.

Her husband’s deteriorated lungs could be replaced with a transplant of healthy lungs, should a transplant center agree to accept him as a candidate for the surgery. While bedridden and unable to sit up or speak, the 68-year-old is conscious and coherent and has been able to write “I want to live” on a pad of paper and show it to doctors.

On the morning of March 16, the hospital reversed its decision and Judy “sighed a sigh of relief.”

That relief, however, was short lived.

The following day—on March 17—doctors at the hospital informed Boudreaux that they had decided to remove her husband from the dialysis machine on which he relies to keep his kidneys functioning.

Mark Boudreaux suffered kidney damage as a result of being on the ventilator, and from being sedentary and on a feeding tube for a prolonged term, medical records provided to The Epoch Times show.

The hospital has told the Boudreauxes that Mark will be removed from dialysis on March 21.

“It will effectively kill him,” she said.

Neither the Cincinnati hospital nor its parent company, TriHealth, responded to requests for comment by The Epoch Times, which did an in-depth story about the case in a March 8 article. As reported, Boudreaux has been on a ventilator since Feb. 5, 2022, when he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Epoch Times Photo
Mark Boudreaux in healthier times. (Supplied)

As chronicled in the story, Boudreaux was a lead designer for some of the most celebrated toys in the world, including every iteration of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon toys.

Boudreaux, who was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame after a 43-year career as a toy designer, also created toys for Marvel and Strawberry Shortcake. He also helped design sets for blockbuster movies such as “Jurassic Park,” “Ghostbusters,” and “Batman.”

Despite his place in one of America’s most epic tales of heroism, Boudreaux hasn’t been able to find a real-life hero to help save him. So far, no transplant facility has been willing to accept him as a patient.

Dr. Charles Thurston, who has treated COVID-19 patients worldwide, has reviewed Boudreaux’s entire medical record since he was put on the ventilator.

Thurston calls it the “ultimate Catch-22.”

“The same medical establishment that landed Mark in his situation, is now sticking to protocols that won’t help bail him out,” he said.

According to national standards, in order to qualify for a lung transplant, a patient must be able to walk for a distance of 100 to 450 feet, or what is commonly referred to as the “six-minute walk.”

Boudreaux has barely had any physical therapy since his hospitalization, according to his wife and Thurston, and isn’t able to walk at all.

Judy Boudreaux said she has reached out to several state lawmakers, who haven’t returned her calls.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment regarding Boudreaux’s plight.

Judy Boudreaux is now scrambling for an attorney to seek an emergency injunction to halt her husband’s removal from the machines.

“This is very sad news,” she saids about the hospital’s decision, “but I am still trying my hardest to save him.”

Related Topics