Some big news coming out of Los Angeles with the Coronavirus on Monday morning.
Rio Giardinieri, 52, who is Vice President of a company that manufactures cooking equipment at high-end restaurants in LA and around the world, thinks he contracted COVID-19 at a conference in New York. He had a fever for five days, horrendous back pain, headache, cough, and tiredness. He was sleeping about 15 hours a day when he’s used to getting five hours a night.
He says his doctors did not want to see him so he drove to Joe DiMaggio hospital in South Florida, near his home, and nearly passed out waiting to get tested. Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and coronavirus. They put him on oxygen in the ICU but he says he was still unable to breathe. After more than a week, he says doctors told him there was really nothing more they could do. Friday evening, he 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. I really thought my end was there. 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.”
A dear friend immediately sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, an old anti-malaria medicine proven successful to treat COVID-19 patients overseas, and insisted he take the drug.
So, Giardinieri reached out to an infectious disease doctor.
“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. 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. He agreed and authorized the use of it and 30 minutes later the nurse gave it to me.”
”An hour after an IV with the medicine, he says his heart felt like it was beating out of his chest. “They had to come in and get me calmed down and take care of me. I had another episode about two hours later where I just got to the point where I couldn’t breathe and my heart was pounding again so they gave me some Benadryl through the system and something else. I’m not sure what it was. It allowed me to go to sleep and when I woke up at exactly 4:45 in the morning, I woke up like nothing ever happened.”Miraculously, he’s since had no fever or pain, feels fine and he’s able to breathe again.
Giardinieri says doctors now believe those episodes were not a reaction to the medicine but the virus progressing in his body. “To me, there was no doubt in mind that I wouldn’t make it until morning,” says Giardinieri. “So to me the drug saved my life.”
You can read more from our friends at Fox 10.