LiveWell Patient Story: How I Avoided the Ventilator
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
How I avoided the ventilator
By: Rob Ogg
I carry an inhaler and take two asthma medications. A couple of times each day, I start coughing and can’t stop. Sometimes it feels like I can’t breathe. So, imagine me getting COVID-19.
Well, I did.
My wife, Sally, first contracted COVID-19. Though we’re unsure how she got the virus, she broke out with a 105-degree fever and tested positive shortly afterward. Two days later, I woke up with a fever and debilitating body aches and pains. Instantly, I knew. I also knew it wouldn’t take much to put my lungs into a dire situation. Would I become the next patient on a ventilator in the ICU?
After testing positive for COVID-19, I slept for a couple of days – barely moving and rarely getting out of bed. The fatigue hit hard. Then I received a call from the Genesis COVID-19 Infusion Clinic. My primary care provider saw my COVID-19 test results and submitted a referral for me to receive an infusion of monoclonal antibodies.
I’d heard about this antibody treatment on the news. I understood that laboratory-made proteins mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens, such as viruses. I also knew only select hospitals had access to the in-demand antibodies, and only high-risk patients could receive them. The fact that my community hospital had the antibodies provided a surge of hope.
A couple days later, a welcoming nurse at the Genesis COVID-19 Infusion Clinic led me to a comfortable chair. For the next hour, Genesis nurses provided blankets, compassion and a treatment that spared me from COVID-19’s dramatic side effects.
As the IV dripped with precious antibodies, I felt impressed with the organization and cheerfulness of the Genesis team during a pandemic. Their happiness spoke volumes. They knew they were doing something good. I knew it too.
The next day my body aches, pains and fever were practically gone. It was miraculous. I don’t know what would have happened without the Genesis COVID-19 Infusion Clinic and Genesis’ leadership throughout COVID-19, but I bet I would have spent time in the ICU on a ventilator. Rob Ogg was soon back at work after receiving the monoclonal antibody treatment, and his wife, Sally, recovered in about two weeks after contracting COVID-19.
Rob Ogg was soon back at work after receiving the monoclonal antibody treatment, and his wife, Sally, recovered in about two weeks after contracting COVID-19.
Antibody treatments available at Genesis
Genesis is one of the few health systems in the area providing monoclonal antibody infusions, a life-saving and innovative treatment authorized by the FDA.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic and boost the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens, such as a virus. Receiving the antibodies soon after a COVID-19 diagnosis can boost the immune system, reduce symptoms of the virus, and help patients avoid hospitalization.
Patients who qualify as high-risk can receive a single dose of monoclonal antibody treatment within 10 days of symptom onset and after testing positive for COVID-19.
More than 900 high-risk patients in our community have received the treatment as of early May. Patients who received the monoclonal antibody treatment at Genesis experienced health improvements that reduced their risk of being hospitalized by 76%.