Update: A Minnesota man whose wife fought to keep him on a ventilator has died in the Texas hospital he was flown to during the legal dispute. A family attorney tells ABC that Scott Quiner, 55, died on Saturday, a week after he was transported to the Houston hospital. He tested positive for COVID on Oct. 30 and spent more than two months on a ventilator before Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids told his wife they intended to take him off it. She won a temporary restraining order to stop the hospital disconnecting the ventilator and the judge set a hearing for next month. Allina Health, which operates Mercy Hospital, said his death "marks yet another very sad moment as collectively we continue to face the devastating effects of the pandemic," per the Washington Post. Our original story from Jan. 19 follows:
One wife's quest to keep her COVID-sick husband hooked up to the ventilator that's keeping him alive has brought the couple from Minnesota to Texas. The Star Tribune reports Scott Quiner was transported to the ICU of Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids on Nov. 6. The unvaccinated 55-year-old was experiencing low oxygen levels due to the coronavirus and has made little improvement in more than two months. Last Tuesday, the hospital told his wife, Anne Quiner, that it planned to disconnect the ventilator sustaining him at noon Thursday. By Wednesday, Anne Quiner had sued Mercy Hospital in a bid to keep that from happening.
"Absent an order from the court restraining Defendant Mercy hospital from turning off the ventilator, my husband will die," she said. The Washington Post reports she was granted an emergency restraining order that barred the hospital from turning off the ventilator roughly 90 minutes before than noon deadline on Thursday. A Feb. 11 hearing had been set, but Quiner was transported to an unnamed hospital in Texas over the weekend .
Marjorie Holsten, a lawyer for the family, says he is receiving "critical care" there and seemed to imply his care at Mercy had been inadequate, telling the Post Scott is now receiving "the right kinds of medications that Mercy would not provide." She added that "the doctor said Scott was the most undernourished patient he has ever seen." Holsten said that as of Tuesday, Scott was able to communicate via nods, blinks, and hand squeezes. "I think the world is watching what is going on with Scott," she tells Fox9. A combination of fundraisers for the family has raised nearly $140,000. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)