In November 2021, 59-year-old truck driver and Kansas native John Springer was enjoying life with his wife of 31 years, Peggy Rice Springer, and their seven children.
“He was an amazing husband, an amazing father,” Peggy told The Defender. “He worked hard six days a week, took very good care of his family. He was an honest, hardworking, taxpaying American guy. He had so much faith in God. That was important to him and all of us.”
John and Peggy and seven children, three of whom were John’s stepchildren. “But he stepped right in and took over and did not treat them any differently than he treated the ones we had together,” Peggy said.
John was also very involved in the rodeo life of his youngest daughter, who had just graduated from high school at the time.
On Nov. 1, 2021, Peggy and John began experiencing cold symptoms, which were soon diagnosed as COVID-19.
With the symptoms lingering, they sought medical attention on Nov. 7, 2021. Three days later, John was admitted to Pratt Regional Medical Center in Pratt, Kansas.
Less than a month later, on Dec. 2, 2021, and after being transferred to Oklahoma State University (OSU) Medical Center in Tulsa, John was dead.
According to Peggy, her husband had no prior indications of poor health.
“He had to take a physical once a year and he passed every time with flying colors,” she said. “He absolutely took very good care of himself.”
In an interview with The Defender, Peggy detailed her husband’s ordeal in both hospitals where he was treated, which included the administration of drugs such as remdesivir and morphine without his consent. She shared medical documentation with The Defender to corroborate her story.
‘He never came home’
Peggy said she and John felt “very, very sick” in early November 2021.
“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t breathe. I could hardly eat, couldn’t pick a glass up to take a drink. And he just said he felt like he couldn’t get enough air.”
They drove to Pratt Regional Medical Center, the hospital where, according to Peggy, “we had doctored at for 30-some years, and had our babies.” Given the close relationship they had with their doctor, they trusted the hospital.
When they arrived, the first question the staff asked them was, “Are you vaccinated?” They answered “No.”
The hospital put the Springers in separate rooms. They hooked Peggy up to IVs to hydrate her and performed chest x-rays, CT scans and blood work on both of them.
“Everything looked good,” so they were discharged and told to return the next day for treatment with monoclonal antibodies, Peggy recalled.
The next day, Nov. 8, 2021, Peggy received the antibodies — but John was separated from her and placed on oxygen because his oxygen was too low, according to the nurses.
John was sent home with an oxygen tank the same day, but by Nov. 10, 2021, his oxygen level remained low.
“He was like, ‘I just don’t feel like I’m getting enough,’” Peggy recalled. “And so, our youngest daughter took him back to the hospital.”
The hospital wouldn’t let Peggy’s daughter go in, so she sat in the parking lot by herself until about 11 p.m., when staff informed her they were going to keep her father overnight and give him more oxygen, so she should go home.
“He never came home,” Peggy said. “They sent him to Oklahoma the next day, against our wishes. He did not want to go. I did not want him to go. But the ER doctor — not our personal doctor — told me that if I didn’t allow him to be sent, then I wanted him to die.”
“They say things like that, and they make you feel like it’s your fault that they’re there and that they’re sick,” she added. “And I know that I didn’t do it, but at the same time, I feel guilty for sending him to the hospital.”
John’s transfer to Oklahoma did not make sense, she said. “We lived in Kansas, we’ve lived here all of our lives. They didn’t have a bed for him, but they had a bed for a guy two states away. They were transferring people from other states into Kansas.”
“None of it makes sense and they don’t want it to make sense,” Peggy said. “They don’t want it to make sense because then if it makes sense, people will fight back.”
‘They euthanized him’
On Nov. 16, 2021, just days after arriving at OSU Medical Center, John Springer was placed on a ventilator, without consent, where he spent the final 17 days of his life.
“When they did vent him and called me, I told them that they didn’t have permission to do that,” Peggy Springer said. “Their response was ‘well, he has COVID.’ When I asked the doctor how many patients she had vented, she told me 100. And when I asked her how many came off the vent, she told me 10.”
“No family should have to be put back through that kind of nightmare of not being able to sit down and advocate and talk to a doctor and say, ‘we’re not comfortable with this,’” Peggy added.
According to Peggy, the poor treatment her husband received at OSU Medical Center began even before he was placed on a ventilator. Through text messages she exchanged with John before he was vented, she learned he was being denied food.
“He couldn’t talk because he had that big mask on, but he would text me and he would say ‘I’m really, really hungry.’ When she asked what he had for breakfast, he texted, ‘They’ve not brought me anything to eat.’”
According to Peggy, when she called the hospital to inquire why John hadn’t been served breakfast, she was told, “We just had to go in and give him morphine.” When asked why the hospital was administering morphine to John, who was not in pain, she was told it was “because he’s agitated.”
Yet, John’s text messages about not being fed continued. “At that time, I didn’t realize the ‘why’ of that,” Peggy said. “And now I understand that they were doing that to many [patients], they were withholding food.”
During the time John was at OSU Medical Center, he had “38 doses of fentanyl, along with morphine, along with all these other deadly drugs,” Peggy said.
“That’s not okay,” she said. “They euthanized him. They basically shut his breathing off. The only thing that John was doing on his own was his heartbeat.”
“And I truly believe that’s because John was a man of God and that He was going to let that heart keep beating until I was able to be with him and talk to him.”
Peggy said that during the time John was at OSU Medical Center, she was denied visitation — or information about the treatment he was receiving. Instead, drugs and treatments were administered to John without their consent.
“I couldn’t get into the hospital to see him,” she said. “If I told them I was coming, they told me they wouldn’t let me in. They wouldn’t talk to me. They wouldn’t tell me what they were giving him, because if he would’ve known that, he would’ve told them no.”
Both Peggy and John told hospital staff several times he didn’t want to be vented.
“When I tried to talk to the doctor and get questions answered, she would tell me it was just COVID and that she didn’t have time to have a discussion with me, that she had things to do,” Peggy said. “The nurses told me I needed to quit calling.”
“My husband knew probably within a week or two of being there that he wasn’t coming home,” Peggy said. “His last text message to me said, ‘Things are not okay. I love you and God’s in control.’ And the next day, I got the phone call that he had been vented and he didn’t come out of that.”
Peggy subsequently learned that he was given remdesivir, fentanyl and morphine, along with “a couple other really bad medications.”
“They basically shut his breathing off and euthanized him with life-ending drugs when it wasn’t the end of his life,” she said. “The very first day he got there [to OSU Medical Center], they gave him remdesivir, they loaded him down with morphine.”
‘They took my world, they took my kids’ world’
On Dec. 2, 2021, Peggy Springer received a fateful phone call from the hospital.
“They called me on Dec. 2 and told me they would try to keep him alive until I got there,” she recalled. “I was four hours away. I was able to get there and spend three-and-a-half hours with him before his heart stopped.”
“They took my world, they took my kids’ world,” she said. ”And not only did my kids lose their father, they lost their mother in this grief too, because I’ve had to figure out how to navigate life without him. I had to get a different job so I could support myself and my daughter, and it’s not okay.”
“Our 16-year-old daughter — she’s 18 now — carries the guilt that she’s the one that took her dad to the hospital, and that’s not okay,” Peggy added. “And I’ve told her that she’s not guilty, because she was only taking him to get him help.”
The family’s ordeal continued even after John’s death. According to Peggy, the family experienced difficulty getting his death certificate signed and, later, obtaining his medical records.
“It took two weeks for the doctor to take two minutes out of their day to hop on an email and electronically sign a death certificate so that we could give my husband a funeral service and honor his life,” she said.
Obtaining John’s medical records was another challenge. “I had to get an attorney and prove that I was head of the estate. That took about three months. They would not hand those records over,” Peggy said.
“I don’t think that they were expecting us to stand up and demand medical records and fight back,” she added. “I think they expected us to accept that our loved ones were very, very sick and just died.”
‘If he had been treated appropriately, he wouldn’t have died’
John’s medical records were revealing, Peggy Springer said.
“I did not know of any of the medications they were giving him until I got his medical records,” she said. The medical records indicated John had a broken nose. “He didn’t have a broken nose when he went in, and I still haven’t figured out how his nose was broken.”
“He had a blood clot that wasn’t treated,” Peggy added. “It’s in his medical records.”
“He was given a lot of bad medications and drugs that shut his organs down, shut his breathing down, severe kidney and liver failure. He had none of those issues before this nightmare happened,” she added.
Yet even John’s medical records weren’t fully revealing. Earlier this year, almost a year after receiving the medical records, OSU Medical Center sent Peggy an itemized billing statement, which listed fentanyl.
Former Mississippi gubernatorial candidate and physician Dr. John Witcher, who has advocated for the recall of the COVID-19 vaccines and launched Mississippi Against Mandates, reviewed John Springer’s medical records. In an interview with The Defender, he said John’s initial symptoms exhibited a “classic COVID picture.”
“He definitely had COVID, definitely was in dire straits and in severe respiratory distress,” Witcher said. “What they should have done from day one is put him on ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, lots of steroids and blood thinners. His D-dimer was way too high. This is typical of what we see with COVID.”
“If he had been treated appropriately, he wouldn’t have died,” Witcher added.
For Peggy, the inappropriate treatment John received was connected to his unvaccinated status, among other factors.
“John would talk about how they were trying to depopulate,” Peggy recalled. “I knew something wasn’t right and he definitely knew something wasn’t right. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because he was a healthy unvaxxed American man that would fight for his family and protect them against everything.”
‘I will be his voice and I will not stop’
Peggy said she is now ready to pursue legal action in connection to her husband’s death.
“We have found that instead of going after hospitals for malpractice, we’re going after them for constructive fraud and uninformed consent,” she said. “Nowhere in John’s medical records are there any consent forms or any kind of consent stating that he gave them permission to do anything that they did, and they absolutely did not get any consent from me.”
According to Peggy, the constructive fraud argument is being pursued “because, with remdesivir, it does state that if a doctor is going to use that medication, they have to tell the family about the side effects. They have to tell the family about the survival rate … None of that was shared.”
According to Witcher, “From experience, many patients were coerced. They were isolated, sad, couldn’t get out of bed, were intubated, on morphine, told ‘you’re going to die’ and had no family member or loved one there to consult with.” He said, “These are the typical things that happened” in hospitals and that this “probably happened” to John.
However, for now, Peggy has focused on sharing her husband’s story and raising awareness of the COVID-19 hospital protocols which she believes are responsible for the treatment her husband received.
“My focus is just honoring John and getting his story out there and waking people up and trying to get hospital rights changed, so nobody else has to live this nightmare,” Peggy said, noting that she is working with the FormerFedsGroup Freedom Foundation.
“Anytime I can share John’s story, I will share it,” Peggy said, noting that she spoke to Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) staff on the Vax-Unvax Bus and has recently attended several rallies, including one at which Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD’s chairman on leave, spoke.
Peggy said she is doing “Anything I can do to be John’s voice — it’s not my voice, it’s John’s voice — to get it out there and bring attention to this … Whatever I need to do, I will do it. I will be his voice and I will not stop,” she said.
“I couldn’t save him, but I can hope to God to save somebody else from going through this. That’s my goal along with trying to get justice, trying to hold the doctors and hospitals accountable, which is very, very tough,” she said.
Peggy is working with a Kansas senator to put a patient’s bill of rights in place “so that no other family has to be isolated,” and so they can “sit with the doctor and go over what kind of treatment they would like for their loved one, not what the government and the doctor want.”
Peggy added that she is seeking out other victims and their families, “because there are so many people out there that know something wasn’t okay. They just don’t know for sure what, and I don’t think they know where to turn or what to say or what to do.”
For such victims and their families, Peggy said, “If their instinct is telling them that something wasn’t right, their gut instinct is correct, and there are people out there that are willing to be there for them and listen to them and try to find them the help that they need,” she said.
“I just want them to know that they are not alone, they are not crazy, they’re loved, and they have people out here that will be there for them and help them through this nightmare,” she said.
Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., based in Athens, Greece, is a senior reporter for The Defender and part of the rotation of hosts for CHD.TV's "Good Morning CHD."
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