COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake City grandmother credits the experimental COVID-19 drug called Remdesivir with saving her life.
It was April 27 when Patrice Roberts was rushed to the hospital with COVID-19 complications. She said she doesn’t remember anything except waking up weeks later in the ICU. Roberts said she was in the hospital for her 58th birthday.
After nearly three months in the hospital, she’s happy to be home with her family. “I am fully grateful to be alive today,” Roberts said. Roberts said COVID-19 changed her life forever. She said she lost 57 pounds while in the hospital and her voice changed from the trach tube put in to help her breathe. On top of that, she said her lungs have permanent damage and doctors believe she has brain damage.
Anna Eversole said there were times she wasn’t sure if her mom would make it. “She told me don’t let me die,” Eversole said. She said the hospital told her they exhausted all measures, but she didn’t give up on her mother.
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She said she fought to start Roberts on Remdesivir. She said her mother was originally denied because she was in bad shape and she has underlying health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. Eversole was eventually able to get the drug for her mother.
“Without that medicine she would definitely not be here,” Eversole said. Eversole said they saw almost instant improvements after the first dose. “They thought she was going to perish within 72 hours. She did a 180 degree turn around and was off a ventilator that she was on for two months.” Eversole said every hospital should have Remdesivir on hand.
Action News Jax reported in July when Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he secured tens of thousands of Remdesivir vials for Florida hospitals. Action News Jax reached out to the governor’s office to find out which Northeast Florida hospitals received a supply. The request was redirected to the Florida Department of Health which is working on getting answers.
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