Coronavirus News: Woman credits experimental drug hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 recovery

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan -- A woman who was treated with an experimental drug to fight the coronavirus is sharing her recovery story.

"Once my fever was gone, it was gone, that was it," Suzanne Schwing said.

Schwing is smiling again and with good reason. She spent 10 days in a hospital room after she was rushed to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, where she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

"I was never on a ventilator, fortunately, and at one point, even with the Tylenol, my temperature reached 104, apparently, which I found out when the nurses came in and said we're going to put some cold packs on you," she said. "And suddenly I was covered on my head and neck with cold packs."

Like so many other patients, Schwing struggled with high temperatures and crushing fatigue. She said she was frustrated because her condition didn't improve for several days.

"You know, you get to a point at which, is this going to end?" she said. "How long is this going to go on?"

On day three, Schwing was given hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, along with antibiotics. It's a pharmaceutical cocktail approved by the FDA for clinical trials, and this week, a preliminary Chinese study offered promising results.

Schwing is convinced it worked for her.

"I don't know how much of my recovery was due to the cocktail and how much of it was due to the length of the time I was spending recovering, but something certainly shifted," Schwing said. "And I think it would have shifted a lot later had I not received that particular treatment. That's my gut feeling."

Schwing believes that her recovery offers hope to others during this pandemic.

"It's a huge deal," Schwing said. "We're on the front lines, we're still short staffed, we're still short in supplies, the hospitals are stressed but people are recovering and going home -- and I'm one of them."
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