SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS)- An amazing series of events recently unfolded for a man from Ruston, Louisiana, who is now a COVID patient at Oschner LSU Health in Shreveport.
“It’s an amazing story of a network coming together to save a life,” says Ryan Senn’s brother-in-law Jon Macaskill.
Jon’s a retired Navy SEAL Commander.
He’s the one who initiate the call for help.
In early November Ryan came down with COVID. He was in need of convalescent plasma. It’s something the hospital he was at in Ruston could not provide.
Ryan received the plasma treatment in Shreveport and was making progress. Last week that changed.
“12:45 a.m., the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I get a call from my sister and Ryan has taken a turn for the worse,” said Jon. “And he needs to be put on a machine called an ECMO machine.”
The machine basically does the work of a person’s lungs for their body by infusing oxygen into the blood.
Due to the recent surge in COVID cases, many of the ECMO machines at Oschner LSU Health were in use.
Jon wanted to make sure an extra one was on hand for his brother. That’s why Jon made the call.
“I put a picture that said ‘Help Me’ on Linked In and the story of where we were at the time,” said Jon.
His special operations and professional network responded.
“I mean it spread like wild fire,” said Jon. “Hundreds of thousands of people saw it within that first day.”
It had a medical transport company out of New York City locating an ECMO in New Jersey.
“As we located a machine, I updated the post. And then people providing unique air transportation ended up locating a flight,” said Jon.
The effort securing the machine now playing out in real-time on social media.
“Thousands of people that I don’t know were reaching out trying to offer support,” he said. “Offering prayers. Offering anything that they could.”
Within hours the machine was on a plane making the nearly 1,400 mile flight to Shreveport.
“It flew into Shreveport that evening, and as soon as we found out we had a machine and we had a flight then Ryan was able to be put on the ECMO machine.”
All of this happening on the busiest air travel day of the year.
“It was a timely miracle in that it was the day before Thanksgiving.”
Ryan’s condition has stabilized, but he’s not out of the woods.
Jon knows Ryan will continue to fight, as do the thousands who recognized Jon’s call for help.
Jon simply says, “It has restored my faith in humanity.”
Ryan’s wife, Sharon, knows what the fight against COVID entails because she’s an ER nurse in Ruston.
She’s had to leave her job to care for the couple’s kids, so Jon is putting out another call for help.
The website, SaveRyanSenn.com/COVID is where you can go to make a donation to help with the family’s medical expenses.