Virginia couple credits controversial drug with helping in their COVID-19 recovery

Virginia News

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — At the beginning of April, we introduced you to a couple from Williamsburg who was in the midst of recovering from COVID-19. Three weeks later we are checking back in with Kevin and Lisa Wilkins.

The couple says they get better every day. They have come so far from their initial COVID-19 diagnosis; they say they were actually afraid at one point they were going to die.

Kevin and Lisa say in their 42 years of marriage, they have never felt so sick. They were diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March, were admitted to the hospital, and a short time later were given a combination of two medications: A Z-pack, and hydroxychloroquine, which is a drug usually used to treat malaria.

“We felt a difference almost immediately. It was a marked difference within just a few hours after we took it.”

Lisa admits she was a bit nervous before taking the drug, but she says a nurse reassured her that it would be okay. The couple says they had no side effects from the hydroxychloroquine.

Not long after they were given the drug, the two headed home and faced that long road to recovery. Their doctors told them it would take four to six weeks, and Kevin and Lisa say it took every bit of that time — and more — for their exhaustion to subside and for them to begin to feel somewhat normal again.

“I walked over a mile the other day with the dog and didn’t have any problems breathing and it was wonderful,” Lisa said.

“I’ve got a little bit of a lingering cough, which I’ve heard and read from other people is not unusual,” Kevin said.

Now, the two say they are willing to give back in any way they can, including donating plasma if it could help others fight COVID-19.

“We have not actually been approached,” Lisa said. “We know that the Health Department is aware of us, but if there comes a time when they want us to donate, I think we both agreed, we definitely will.”

“They indicated to us that, in all likelihood, the Virginia Department of Health would reach out to us at some point when they had tests available for antibodies, and they would probably want to get with us and have us take that. We haven’t heard from them yet, but we are absolutely willing to help anybody that we could,” Kevin said.

The couple says they still can’t believe they contracted COVID-19, and as they healed, in a way, they were surprised by what they found going on around them.

“We came out of being really, really sick and so focused and absorbed by that, and kind of woke up in the world that everyone else had been living in for a few weeks of social distancing and isolation and so, yeah, we were kind of expecting to wake up to normalcy that didn’t happen,” Kevin said.

As the condition of the Wilkins improves daily, they still plead with the public to listen to the warnings and continue social distancing.

“Please take this stuff seriously, because it does not play, and you don’t want it,” Kevin said. “We are so grateful that we weren’t any more sick than we were, and we felt horrible. We’re so grateful for the care that we received from Riverside Doctors’ Hospital in Williamsburg.”

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