Ebola drug successful with another Washington coronavirus patient

Mar 24, 2020, 12:02 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2020, 5:01 pm
Howard Stiles embraces his wife on Sunday, March 29....
Howard Stiles embraces his wife on Sunday, March 29.

Note: The MyNorthwest and KIRO Radio staff are not health experts. Please consult your health care provider with questions regarding possible treatment options for coronavirus.

UPDATE on March 29:

Howard Stiles was finally reunited with his wife on Sunday.

Jim Stiles didn’t have much hope when his 89-year-old father, Howard, was admitted to an Everett hospital on March 15.

“We were told to prepare for the worst,” Stiles said.

His dad was sick at home for a few days before his oxygen levels dropped, forcing him to go to the hospital, where he tested positive for coronavirus. He was also suffering from pneumonia.

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Stiles said the doctors gave his father remdesivir, a drug originally intended to treat Ebola that’s seen some success in a handful of isolated coronavirus cases. The treatment dropped his fever quickly and he steadily improved. Now, nine days after going to the emergency room, Howard Stiles is going home.

“I don’t know what the protocol is or who it is for,” Stiles said about the decision to use the drug. “For whatever reason, my father met the criteria, and they got him on it right away. I’m sure that’s what’s turned it around for him.”

The drug has yet to be proven effective in fighting coronavirus in large-scale testing situations, but at least in this particular instance, it appears to have at least helped.

It’s a cliche to call the last two weeks a roller-coaster for Stiles and his family. So what got him through it? A great support system of family and friends.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, Stiles had some advice.

“Surround yourself with family and friends, and don’t be afraid to ask people to pray for you,” he said. “Not everybody believes in the power of prayer. That’s fine, but they can still encourage and that helps.”

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Stiles said don’t assume that getting this virus will have a negative outcome.

“There’s all the reason in the world to believe that this can be beat,” he said. “Stay positive.”

Jim Stiles is trying to take that advice even today, with another family member with coronavirus currently in critical condition at the hospital.

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Ebola drug successful with another Washington coronavirus patient