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Ralph Marxen Jr. had just turned 70 and was enjoying life with his wife of 49 years, Lynda, and his adult children and grandchildren. The Minnetonka, Minnesota, native was in good health and, according to his daughter, Nicole Riggs, walked long distances daily and wasn’t on any medications.
In August 2021, several members of Riggs’ household contracted COVID-19, including, presumably, her parents. A week later, while most family members were recovering, Marxen’s condition deteriorated leading him to be admitted to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis on Aug. 23, 2021.
Marxen would never leave the hospital — he died there on Sept. 7, 2021.
During his stay, Marxen, who had not received a COVID-19 vaccine, was administered more than 50 medications, including remdesivir, vancomycin, fentanyl and midazolam, and in the days prior to his death, he was placed on a ventilator.
At the time of his death, Marxen had “multiple organ system failure including renal failure, endocarditis, hyperkalemia, MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] pneumonia, MRSA bacteremia and sepsis,” Riggs said.
Riggs told The Defender the treatments she and her family requested for Marxen, including ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies and vitamins, were refused.
She said she did not believe her father’s refusal of the COVID-19 vaccines played a role in his illness — in fact, she argued that her father’s non-vaccinated status — and the COVID-19 protocols prescribed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — were factors in the treatment he received from the hospital and its medical staff.
‘Is this a hospital or a prison?’
“My dad went to the ER seeking help for dizziness and nausea,” Riggs said. “He was 70 years old and took no daily meds. He was unvaccinated and refused to take their unreliable PCR tests.”
In a separate interview with Minnesota’s Alpha News, Riggs said that two of her father’s friends had gotten vaccinated “and they both got vax-injured.” As a result, “He was adamant that he was not going to get the vaccine.”
“I think this played a part in him not getting good care,” Riggs told The Defender.
Riggs recounted the chain of events that led her father to end up in the hospital.
“In the middle of August 2021, my household of four, plus my parents, became ill with fever and fatigue, and a few of us had chest congestion,” Riggs said. “Myself, my husband and my two boys were spit-tested for COVID and were all told we were positive for COVID. We assumed my parents had the same.”
But after a week of being sick, she said they noticed that her father “didn’t seem to be bouncing back like the rest of us. He was having trouble walking to the bathroom because he was so weak and dehydrated.”
Due to his older age, his family “decided to call the ambulance and get him checked out,” Riggs said. Paramedics recommended Marxen go to the hospital for further evaluation, so he was admitted on Aug. 23, 2021, after an ER visit.
“From the beginning, the medical records indicate they wanted to get him on remdesivir even though they couldn’t get him to PCR test,” Riggs said.
“Within a day, a friend of the family who had been working with COVID patients for the past year told us to call the hospital and request that my dad be given monoclonal antibodies (a.k.a. Regeneron),” Riggs said. However, the nurse treating her father said he “had never heard of that before, and that was the end of that discussion.”
“That seemed strange to me, but I still trusted them at that time,” Riggs said.
The day after her father was admitted to the hospital, her mother also was admitted, after her oxygen levels dropped to the low 90s.
“My parents were soon hospital room neighbors,” Riggs said. “COVID medications were started, which we later learned was hospital protocol with remdesivir and dexamethasone.”
Despite being in neighboring rooms though, Riggs’ parents could not visit each other. “My mom wanted to go see my dad since he was in the room right next door, but she realized that her bed had an alarm that sounded when she tried to get up. She also learned that both of them were locked in their rooms as well,” Riggs said.
“My mom’s nurse thought ‘it wasn’t appropriate,’ and refused to let her go see my dad. They had to wait until that nurse was off her shift before the doctor would OK my mom to go into my dad’s room for a short visit.
“Is this a hospital or a prison?”
It wasn’t long before Riggs began to receive more disturbing updates about the treatment her parents were receiving in the hospital.
She told The Defender:
“My brother started a CaringBridge site to keep our whole family updated. It wasn’t long before I started to receive unsettling messages from people I knew and trust. One was from my dad’s old neurological chiropractor, saying ‘no remdesivir and no ventilator, that’s asking to die.’ He also sent me information on how to get a lawyer involved.
“It was then that I started to research and realize the dangers of the deadly hospital protocols put in place by the NIH and CDC, especially for those on Medicare, as the hospital is given a 20% bonus payment if certain steps are followed with those patients, starting with a positive COVID PCR test.”
According to Riggs, this was evident in her father’s medical records.
“One of the doctors actually wrote this in the medical records: ‘I don’t think it’s impossible to use remdesivir without a PCR positive,’” Riggs said, adding, “My dad initially refused a nasal PCR test because he knew they could be inaccurate and wanted to be treated by symptoms, not a PCR positive COVID test result.”
However, the hospital told Marxen and his family this was not possible. According to Riggs, the doctor said, “Certain treatments may not be available without PCR-proven COVID, and that if his condition worsened such that he required intubation, we would run the nasopharyngeal swab.”
“Basically, my dad was told he wouldn’t get access to ‘certain treatments’ until he submitted to their request to be PCR tested,” Riggs said. “And if he got bad enough, they would test him anyway.”
The hospital also told them if Marxen’s condition deteriorated enough that they needed to put him on a ventilator, they would do the test without his permission.
Her father finally “relented” and tested positive for COVID-19. That’s when the hospital administered remdesivir “and many other harmful drugs,” Riggs said, and denied their request for safer alternatives.
‘It all happened so fast’
From this point forward, “It all happened so fast,” Riggs said. Her father was transferred to progressive care on Aug. 26, 2021, and to the ICU the next day.
“My dad was denied visitation by anyone under the guise of ‘COVID isolation,’” Riggs said. “Even my mom, who was in the same hospital with COVID.”
Marxen’s condition quickly deteriorated. “My dad was told he needed to get on the ventilator so he could get relief and a feeding tube,” Riggs said. “By this time, my dad hadn’t slept in two days and hadn’t eaten in five days.”
“After two days in the ICU, he was freaking out, pulling off his mask and pulling out his IV,” Riggs said. “They got him ‘reoriented’ and brought in the doctor. If you knew my dad, you would know that this was totally out of character for him. He was the kindest, most loving man and father. He was one of my best friends.”
“Soon, he felt he had no other option but to be put on a ventilator,” Riggs said. “A decision he had to make scared and alone because we were kept from him … They had finally got him desperate enough to submit to getting on a ventilator.”
Marxen was intubated on Aug. 29, 2021, and placed on fentanyl and propofol, Riggs said, “even though, reading the records, they knew that wasn’t the solution, but they did it anyway.”
Riggs said she and her family again requested monoclonal antibodies be administered, “but were denied because it was too late in the progression of the disease to be a benefit.”
They also requested “vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin,” but were denied “and told they refused to go off of protocol, ‘because the one time we did that, the patient died,’” Riggs added.
“My dad’s medical records indicate vitamin D was ‘deemed not appropriate during this admission,’” Riggs noted. “We asked them to take him off vancomycin because that can make you retain fluid and he was already doing that. They told us no, and that the drug was ‘the gold standard.’”
‘He was kept from everyone that truly loved him’
According to Riggs, she would call the hospital every day at 6 p.m. for updates, and her brother would do so daily at 6 a.m. This continued until Sept. 7, 2021, the day her father would be placed “off quarantine” and allowed to see family members again.
However, “on Sept. 7, we were told that the ‘infectious disease team’ said he needed another seven days of quarantine,” Riggs said. “This decision was not even made by his ICU doctor.”
Instead, Riggs and her family were told “the nurses would set up a Facetime for us for the evening of Sept. 7,” Riggs said. “After that call, I was crying and pacing in my house. My thoughts were, ‘Are we going to just leave him in there to die alone?’ I needed to actually do something.”
Riggs said she decided to request her father’s medical records from the hospital, “so I could see exactly what was going on there.” However, she was told the records could not be released “unless he signed the release form” — even though her father was sedated and on a ventilator “and it wasn’t possible for him to sign anything.”
In response, the hospital told Riggs that she “would need to provide his death certificate for the records if we hadn’t already set up power of attorney.”
“So, he had to die before I could access his records?” Riggs asked. “How did this nightmare become our reality?”
Within a few hours of this exchange, Riggs received a call that her father was “actively dying” and if they wanted to see him, they needed to do it soon, because he would pass away during that night.
“Now that he was dying, we were able to come see him — but hours before we couldn’t? This made zero sense to me,” Riggs said.
On arriving at the hospital, she and other family members “were required to wear space-like soft helmets, which made it impossible to even kiss my dad goodbye.”
According to Riggs, she and her family “gave the OK to remove him from the ventilator so we could pray scripture over him through his transition.”
“I thought removing him from the ventilator would cause him to pass away because he couldn’t live without it,” Riggs said. “But I can’t help but wonder if that’s really how it went down. His records show that he was given fentanyl at 5:10 p.m. and midazolam at 5:32 p.m. He passed away at 6:22 p.m.”
Riggs said the “official” cause of death was determined to be “respiratory failure with underlying COVID-19.”
When her father died, he had multi-system organ failure. Riggs said she did not believe her father died of COVID-19, but instead due to the CDC- and NIH-approved protocols.
“He was isolated and kept from everyone that truly loved him for 16 days,” Riggs said. “Then, under the guise of ‘palliative care,’ he was finished off with fentanyl and midazolam.”
According to Alpha News, the price tag from the hospital for the treatment her father received during those 16 days was $1.2 million.
A statement provided by Abbott Northwestern to Alpha News said the following:
“Allina Health respects the privacy of its patients and is unable to comment on specific patient care.
“We have great confidence in the exceptional care our medical teams provide to our patients, which is administered according to evidence-based practices by our talented and compassionate care teams.”
‘To honor my dad, I have put my grief into action’
Riggs said her father’s death had knock-on effects on her and her family.
“Now my mom, who survived remdesivir, can’t afford to keep their home,” Riggs said. “She had to sell almost all of their possessions accumulated over 50 years to move into one of the bedrooms of my two-bedroom home. Two of my boys … now share a bedroom in our living room.”
“She can hardly make the bed without being out of breath and she struggles mentally with what they endured and getting a grasp on her new life without my dad in it,” Riggs added.
Despite these challenges, Riggs said that “to honor my dad, I have put my grief into action,” getting involved in activism for victims of hospital protocol deaths.
Riggs is now the Minnesota chair of the FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation, a national coalition that has documented cases involving COVID-19 care protocols at hospitals.
“I don’t want the families … to be isolated and alone in their pain of losing their loved one,” Riggs said, adding that she has launched weekly Zoom calls for Minnesota families and survivors of hospital protocols, and is also launching in-person meetups.
Riggs also recently attended the Halt Hospital Homicide rally, which she described as the “first national rally for hospital protocol deaths.”
She drew parallels with those who died of COVID-19 vaccine injuries. “The vax-injured are ignored and not believed, just like those of us who have had a family member die or get injured by the hospital protocols,” she said.
“My dad, Ralph, will go on in our memories as a wonderful husband of 50 years, dad, grandpa and great-grandpa, as well as a fun fisherman and the best homemade French fry maker around.”