Slawomir Michalak, a 57-year-old factory worker from a suburb west of Chicago, was among the participants in the Chicago study. One of his daughters started feeling ill in late March and was later diagnosed with mild Covid-19. Michalak, by contrast, came down with a high fever and reported shortness of breath and severe pain in his back.
“It felt like someone was punching me in the lungs,” he told STAT.
At his wife’s urging, Michalak went to the University of Chicago Medicine hospital on Friday, April 3. His fever had spiked to 104 and he was struggling to breath. At the hospital, he was given supplemental oxygen. He also agreed to participate in Gilead’s severe Covid-19 clinical trial.
His first infusion of remdesivir was on Saturday, April 4. “My fever dropped almost immediately and I started to feel better,” he said.
By his second dose on Sunday, Michalak said he was being weaned off oxygen. He received two more daily infusions of remdesivir and recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, April 7.
“Remdesivir was a miracle,” he said.