Woman credits COVID-19 recovery to 'miracle' experimental antibody treatment bamlanivimab

Evelyn Holmes Image
Friday, December 4, 2020
Helen Krogan credits her recovery to an experimental antibody treatment called bamlamnivimab.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Helen Kogan is looking and feeling great after getting what she called a "miracle" treatment just days after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

"When I came home, I felt like a boost of energy," Kogan said.

The 63-year-old, who has some underlying health issues, said she believes she was infected by her grandkids who contracted the virus from their nanny.

On Thursday she said she credited her recovery to an experimental antibody treatment called bamlanivimab.

"Bamlanivimab is an antibody solution produced Eli Lilly," said Dr. Suzanne Pham, MD, FAAP, Medical Director of the COVID-19 response team at Weiss Memorial Hospital.

The synthetic antibody drug was recently made available through an emergency use authorization from the FDA as a treatment for some COVID-19 patients.

Officials at Weiss Memorial Hospital said they are the first community hospital in Chicago to offer the "bamlam" infusions.

"It's designed for patients who are not on oxygen and do not need hospitalization. It's really a means to get patients who are mildly symptomatic not to have any progression of their illness," Pham said.

Patients typically receive the drug within 10 days of showing symptoms.

The North Side medical center received a shipment of 40 doses about two weeks ago with more supply promised.

So far, to date the hospital has infused six patients. The hospital said they've all shown improvement.

The treatment is administered through an IV and takes about an hour complete.

Kogan's 73-year-old husband who is also COVID-19 positive received his treatment Thursday afternoon.

It is unclear when treatment will be offered on a larger scale.

Doctors said it is just another tool they can use in the battle against the virus.