Florida man with coronavirus says drug touted by Trump saved his life

By March 29, 2020COVID-19, News

Article by Tamar Lapin courtesy of the New York Post

 

A Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump.

Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles’ Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York.

Doctors at the Memorial Regional Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet.

After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children.

“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.”

Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that’s been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus.

Overseas studies have found it to be promising as a treatment for COVID-19, though it hasn’t been approved by health officials.

Trump last week said he was instructing the FDA to fast-track testing of hydroxychloroquine and a related drug, chloroquine, as treatment for COVID-19.

Giardinieri said he contacted an infectious disease doctor about the drug.

“He 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,” said Giardinieri.

“And 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 continued.

“He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”

After about an hour after taking the pills, Giardinieri said, it felt like his heart was beating out of his chest and, about two hours later, he had another episode where he couldn’t breathe.

He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was “like nothing ever happened.”

He’s since had no fever or pain and can breathe again. Giardinieri said doctors believe the episodes he experienced were not a reaction to the medicine but his body fighting off the virus.

Giardinieri, the vice president of a company that manufactures cooking equipment for high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, said he had three doses of the medicine Saturday and is hoping to be discharged from the hospital in five days.

“To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” said Giardinieri. “So to me, the drug saved my life.”

DISCLAIMER

THE INFORMATION ABOVE IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH INDIVIDUAL TO MANAGE THEIR OWN HEALTH AND WELLBEING AND THEY ALONE ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL DECISIONS MADE IN THIS RESPECT. THE INFORMATION ABOVE COULD BE CONSIDERED BY AN INDIVIDUALS MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WHEN INVESTIGATING PREVENTION MEASURES AND TREATMENT FOR CORONAVIRUS. THE ABOVE SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED TO BE ADVICE TO FOLLOW WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL WHO IS ABLE TO ADVISE ON THE SUITABILITY, RISK AND BENEFITS WITH RESPECT TO EACH INDIVIDUAL AFTER TAKING ACCOUNT OF EACH PERSONS PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES, MEDICAL HISTORY, PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS, ALLERGIES AND OTHER RELEVANT MEDICAL FACTORS.

DO NOT USE THE ABOVE INFORMATION TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE, SICKNESS OR AILMENT, FOR THERAPEUTIC PURPOSES OR AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE ADVICE OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. INDIVIDUALS USING THE ABOVE INFORMATION DO SO AT THEIR SOLE RISK AND THEY TOGETHER WITH THEIR FAMILY, AGENTS, EXECUTORS AND ASSIGNS FULLY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS MRS GINA RINEHART, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, SUBSIDIARIES AND RELATED ENTITIES FROM ANY CLAIMS, DAMAGES, DISTRESS OR OTHERWISE THAT MAY BE SUFFERED, ARISE OR BE CAUSED IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER FROM FOLLOWING, RELYING ON, OR IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER READING OR USING THE INFORMATION ABOVE.

MRS GINA RINEHART, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, ITS SUBSIDIARIES AND RELATED ENTITIES TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE VERACITY OF THE INFORMATION SHOWN ABOVE AND TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE DISCLAIM ALL AND ANY LIABILITY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY OR OTHER DAMAGES OR NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS THAT MAY ARISE FROM UTILISING ANY OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION SHOULD ANY MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL OR INDIVIDUAL CHOOSE TO FOLLOW ANY PART OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION. PLEASE DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU AGREE THAT YOU WILL NOT AT ANY TIME SEEK TO HOLD MRS GINA RINEHART, HANCOCK PROSPECTING PTY LTD, ITS DIRECTORS, OR OFFICERS OR ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES OR ITS RELATED ENTITIES RESPONSIBLE IN ANY WAY.