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Tuesday, March 24, 2020
'THE DRUG SAVED MY LIFE' - Coronavirus sufferer says Trump-backed drug saved his life.
A MAN infected with the coronavirus claims a drug backed by President Donald Trump has saved his life.
Rio Giardinieri, 52, says he was suffering horrific back pain, had a fever, cough, headaches and fatigue for nearly a week and was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia.
Giardinieri told KTTV he believes he contracted the coronavirus while at a conference in New York.
The man said he was placed on oxygen in the ICU at Joe DiMaggio Children’s
Hospital in Florida, but he still had trouble breathing — and doctors apparently said on Friday there wasn’t much else they could do to help.
“I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging,” Giardinieri said. “I really thought my end was there.”
He told the news outlet: “I had been through nine days of solid pain and for me, the end was there. So I made some calls to say in my own way goodbye to my friends and family.”
The 52-year-old said goodbye to his wife and three kids before a friend sent him a link about a drug called hydroxychloroquine, an old drug used to treat malaria and auto-immune diseases.
Last week, Trump claimed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved using hydroxychloroquine and a similar drug, chloroquine, to treat coronavirus patients.
He said he asked the agency to fast-track testing of the drug.
FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said the drug still needs testing to determine if it can help patients.
He said chloroquine would have to be tested in “a large pragmatic clinical trial to actually gather that information.”
But despite this, Giardinieri reached out to an infection disease doctor who “gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there’s no testing, it was not something that was approved.”
“I said look, I don’t know if I’m going to make it until the morning because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn’t breathe anymore.”
Giardinieri, vice president of a cooking equipment company, continued: “He agreed and authorised the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”
He said after an hour of using the drug, it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest, and two hours later, he felt the same way.
The 52-year-old said he was given Benadryl and other drugs and later “woke up like nothing ever happened.”
Giardinieri claims doctors told him they think the reaction happened because they were fighting off the virus in his body. He hasn’t experienced fevers or pain since.
“To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” he said. “So to me the drug saved my life.”
He said he had three doses of the medicine on Saturday and is hoping to be discharged from the hospital this week.
Last week, Trump said he thinks the drug could be a “game-changer” but Hahn, of the FDA, advised against giving people “false hope” about a possible coronavirus drug.
Chloroquine has shown promise in early laboratory studies, but some experts are skeptical it will be effective in human testing.
The FDA reiterated: There are “no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19.”
Nearly 350,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed across the globe, with over 35,000 in the U.S. alone.
It’s killed at least 471 people in the country, with 99 in New York, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak.