A family has come together to honor their beloved father who died from complications related to COVID-19. In their quest to carry out their father’s request, they have founded a project aimed at helping other COVID-19 patients.
Roy Anthony Muna was the 82nd COVID-related death. After 15 days of fighting the infection in the ICU unit of the Guam Memorial Hospital, he succumbed to complications related to the virus. Like many other COVID patients treated in the hospital, he was isolated from his family and had to deal with being alone.
His daughter, Savvy Muna Diaz, described her father as being a communicator but being on oxygen made it difficult to speak and express his needs.
“That was very hard for us because he made it known even a few days in, that he wasn’t coping well with it and he just was struggling. If you can imagine not being able to breathe for a minute, it would be difficult, right? But he was like that for 15 days and so just a few days in, he was expressing to us how hard it was and how he said his mental well-being was being challenged. Those were his words,” Diaz said.
She added: “The day before he passed away, we were able to get him a dry erase board at least and he was able to expand on how he felt rather than just pointing to his nurse on duty. That in itself just proved to us that this could really help other patients.”
In honor of her father’s life and his request to advocate for patients who can’t speak, Diaz and her family founded the Roy Anthony Muna Project also known as RAMP. The project aims to make communicating easier for hospitalized patients by using non-verbal cues.
“Upon doing more research, we came across these non-verbal communication charts where patients who just generally are not able to speak, can point to. I brought one. So, for example, here they can tell them how they are feeling emotionally. Also, just if they need a pillow or they want to fix their mask, or if they need to adjust themselves in bed, turn left or right, and even down to just wanting to call family,” Diaz said.
30 RAMP boards were delivered to GMH on Christmas Eve morning, the first of many projects Diaz says RAMP is working.
In the near future, Diaz hopes to leverage more technology to bridge the gap between families, COVID patients, and the medical teams. For this project, RAMP is seeking donations to purchase tablets for hospitalized patients.
To learn more about RAMP and how you can donate, visit them on Facebook.