SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Doug Raysby was a quiet man with an incredible sense of humor. According to his wife, his dry humor was even funnier because he didn’t talk often. He was known for being polite, kind and welcoming to all. His mother-in-law described him as a hard worker and no one being able to find a negative thing to say about him.
Doug Raysby lost his battle to COVID-19 on October 21, after being diagnosed 10 days with the deadly virus.
Kathy James is his mother-in-law and a registered nurse. She explained his hardships with the illness. James said after having symptoms for a full day, Raysby got a COVID-19 test the following day. With underlying health conditions, his family thought it was best he went to the hospital. Raysby was told to stay home, but the next day went to emergency room.
James said Raysby’s first few days in the hospital he had symptoms but was able to maintain a conversation, but then he began having complications. She inferred that the hospital was short-staffed because she and his family would be on video call for over an hour and no one would come in.
“Things just seemed like they were getting out of control, and he called and he said, ‘I’m scared. I’m scared I’m going to die. I’m scared I’m going to die alone,'” James said.
One doctor said Raysby should be transferred to the Critical Care Unit, but it was full. Days after, he was taken to one of their Critical Care Units. Shortly after the move, Doug Raysby passed away.
“There’s this idea that because he had preexisting conditions or because he was older than 50, well those are the reasons he’s gone. There’s nothing in his medical history that he would’ve died this year, other than COVID,” James said.
James believes more lives can be saved if action was taken in South Dakota. She expressed this by posting on Facebook about what her family was going through and what she thinks people need.
The post has since gone viral and James says she continues to get messages about people who feel they are in walking along the same lines as her family.
“There has been this complete lack of leadership in protecting the most vulnerable people. She (Governor Krisit Noem) says so casually if you’re at high-risk just stay home. Except, Doug didn’t have that ability to stay. He couldn’t have.”
Raysby used short term diability but it didn’t cover all of his family’s bills. So, Raysby needed to work to help support his family.
“She (Raysby’s wife) didn’t expect to lose him and not even make their second wedding anniversary. It’s so simple to wear a mask,”
James says she stands by her post and everything she wrote in it. She hopes it sheds the light on what people are going through and the action that she wants taken.
“As much as we’re angry about what happened to him, it is for the rest of them, the rest of the Dougs out there who just don’t have a voice. And, they deserve that kind of protection. If that’s the plan, everyone fend for themselves; keep yourself protected; we’re going to get to herd immunity. Then, you have to protect the most vulnerable who can’t afford to be part of herd immunity,” James said.