MEMPHIS, Tennessee —
Late Thursday afternoon, one patient made medical history in Shelby County as the first to be treated with a COVID-19 drug not only recovered, but was released. The release of Patricia Myles, who is from Clarksdale, Mississippi, followed weeks of, at times, tense moments. Baptist Memorial Hospital staff cheered her departure, as Myles rolled out and headed home, a COVID-19 survivor.
"Oh lord, thank you Jesus,” Myles said.
Myles arrived at Baptist May 12th in bad shape and spent her first weeks unresponsive and sedated.
"I just started remembering stuff last week, and I still don’t remember too much,” Myles said.
But Myles made it through, thanks to a plasma transfusion, an ECMO machine to help her breathe, and Remdesivir, the first COVID-19 treatment drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
"The most important thing is what happens to the patient and she's really, just had just a fantastic recovery,” Baptist Memorial Hospital infectious disease specialist Dr. Steve Threlkeld said.
Dr. Threlkeld said Remdesivir’s effectiveness is so far showing mixed results nationwide but cautioned the sample size still remains relatively low.
"There's individual limitations that make it hard to make sweeping sorts of conclusions about the drug,” Dr. Threlkeld is said.
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For Myles, her range of medical treatment worked as she turned the corner and headed home with a message.
"I'm walking out here as a testimony to tell people about this virus and how important it is to stay safe,” Myles said.
Doctors at Baptist have now treated nearly a dozen patients to date with Remdesivir and planned to begin treatment with two additional patients Thursday night. Several health precautions in place to help slow spread of coronavirus.