A PRACTICING SURGEON FROM CORDELE, GEORGIA TELLS HIS PERSPECTIVE AND JOURNEY OF SUFFERING AND THEN RECOVERING FROM COVID-19 INFECTION IN HIS OWN WORDS.
By: Dr. Allen Meglin, Treating Physician
I was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 on June 8, 2020 after a week of progressive COVID-19 symptoms, including loss of taste sensation, dry cough, shortness of breath, 103-degree fever, headache, malaise, joint and skin pain with total body aches, diarrhea and vomiting. I spent the next eight weeks admitted to the hospital with one and a half weeks in the ICU on BIPAP; endotracheal intubation was avoided. My treatment included Remdesivir and steroids. I remained on high flow oxygen for three weeks; supplemental oxygen was weaned off over a course of four additional weeks. At the time of discharge from the hospital, I was still short of breath on minimal exertion and had significant loss of muscle mass since I was bed-bound for six weeks in the hospital. At discharge, I was physically limited due to severe deconditioning and had shortness of breath while performing limited activities of daily living which were worsened by air hunger while eating meals, showering and short distance walking. Minimal activities such as walking to the sink, shaving and showering resulted in heart rates of 120-140 bpm. An overnight sleep study showed that my oxygen saturations appeared to be affected by body position: more than 96% when upright and often less than 89% while laying down. I was discharged to go home on albuterol nebulizers with home physical therapy.
Following one week at home with minimal improvement of my symptoms, I was enrolled in an eIND (Emergency Investigational New Drug) trial for treatment with Organicell Flow from a biotechnology company, Organicell.
After one treatment (a one-hour IV infusion), I began to feel better within 24 hours. The first day following treatment my heart rate started to stabilize again, no longer rapidly beating. 48 hours later, my sense of well-being was markedly improved. My oxygen saturation was stable in the 96% range as I began to exercise on a stationary bicycle. I was walking and carrying out the activities of daily living with greater ease, and I began sleeping flat in bed rather than sitting up in a lounge chair.
Five days later, after receiving a second treatment, I felt a much-improved sense of well-being. I started to feel like myself again with improved clarity of thought and improved performance with my physical therapist. I tapered my nebulizer treatments to once or twice a day rather than three times a day, while my oxygen saturations improved to 97-98%. I was able to start a walking regimen where I walked three quarters of a mile for the first time since hospitalization. This resulted in only minimal shortness of breath and I have even been able to go grocery shopping on my own.
Currently, at three days following my second treatment of Organicell Flow, I am beginning to make steps towards returning to work. I feel a significant return of mental clarity. I am continuing to work with physical therapy four days a week with assigned daily exercises, and my endurance and strength have notability improved over the past week. I hope to return to work within the next month which is less than half the time expected by my inpatient physicians.
Organicell proposes that there is a Subacute Post-COVID-19 Syndrome that occurs in a subset of patients recently described as “long-haulers” who recover from acute COVID-19 disease. This syndrome is associated with a constellation of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, myalgias, arthralgias, fatigue and sleep disturbances. Based on recent publications related to COVID-19 and the effects on the brain, Organicell strongly believes that if Subacute Post-COVID-19 Syndrome is left untreated, a progression to a tertiary chronic stage is likely to occur as seen in other tertiary illnesses, such as Syphilis, Lyme, Encephalitis and Slow Virus Disease (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease).
Organicell Flow has recently been shown to improve Subacute Post-COVID-19 Syndrome such as described in the patient above who received therapy as part of an eIND.