“It has given us life”: Monoclonal antibody treatment saves couple from COVID-19 sickness

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 5:25 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Resources are limited when it comes to treating COVID positive patients, but the ones that are being used are successful, according to health care workers.

Last year, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the use of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of COVID-19.

That’s the same treatment former President Donald Trump received when he contracted the virus.

Related story: FDA allows emergency use of antibody drug Trump received

Related story: Trump hails experimental treatment for his virus recovery

Janet Bauer hasn’t been out to work in her art studio since March.

She’s been quarantining at home and trying to protect herself and her husband Doug from the COVID-19 virus and said she hasn’t been able to enjoy doing what she loves.

And as much as they tried to avoid it, they both became sick, but on Jan. 20th, she and Doug received an infusion that would save both of their lives.

“It was life saving, and I don’t know that we would be here to be able to do this interview with you. That awful cough, a runny nose, and a sore throat and it was not like a raw it was like an ache, a really bad ache when you swallow it’s just like it wanted to close up, but we’re both so lucky. The treatment was the key,” Bauer said.

They both received a monoclonal antibody infusion from AdventHealth in Ocala.

“It’s for patients that are in the first 10 days of their disease process of the virus. It’s for patients that are having mild to moderate symptoms . It’s actually a man made antibody that helps your body recognize that it needs to make antibodies and hopefully speeds up that process,” Nurse Manager at AdventHealth Ocala, Sarah Rounding said.

It’s an out-patient procedure that takes about two hours - one hour for infusion and one hour for observation.

So far staff at AdventHealth Ocala have treated 123 people, but to receive the infusion, patients must consult with their primary care doctor to start the process.

Officials said they are focusing on high risk patients to receive this treatment.

“If they’re 65 years and older that an automatic qualification. If they’re on any type of immunosuppressant or therapy or have a compromised immune system. If they’re 55 or older that criteria changes a little bit. They have t have heart disease or some other type of qualifying underlying condition,” Rounding added.

And Bauer said she’s grateful she was in that qualifying category.

“It’s a whole new life. It has given us, it really has given us life,” Bauer said.

AdventHealth officials said that there is no out of pocket cost to a patient if they receive the infusion.

Bauer said, the next step on her ‘to-do’ list is get the vaccine.

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