ORLANDO, Fla. — More than 150,000 Americans have died from the virus. Florida saw its worst day yet Wednesday, with 217 new coronavirus-related deaths reported.
Experts caution that not all 217 deaths happened in one day. They said it is due to a backlog of results just now getting reported.
Channel 9′s Alexa Lorenzo talked to a local doctor who got COVID-19 and spent days in the hospital.
He said he was worried he would end up being one of those numbers.
Dr. Jeffrey Deren said there are so many unknowns about the virus and for some time he wasn’t sure if he would be able to fight it off.
Deren knew the data and the symptoms well. The orthopedic surgeon tested positive for COVID-19.
“I could tell I was getting worse each day,” he said.
He called his colleagues at Orlando Health and they urged him to get help.
“I’ve never been hospitalized before. I’ve missed four days of work. I was sick, really sick,” Deren said.
The first few days at the hospital Deren said he wasn’t sure if he was getting better or not.
He was placed in a room on oxygen and was given the antiviral drug, Remdesivir, and the steroid, Decadron.
“I didn’t really see much improvement. So, you are kind of left with this feeling that maybe this is going to continue to progress despite the treatment,” he said.
So far, more than 6,300 Floridians have died from COVID-19.
On Wednesday, the state logged a record 217 deaths, but data shows there’s a lag in tracking those who have died from the virus.
The deaths recorded Wednesday happened weeks ago, some even when Deren was in the hospital.
“I had a lot of anxiety about ending up intubated because I knew a lot about that wasn’t being a very good sign. So I had hat little bit of anxiety. Maybe I wasn’t gonna get better,” he said.
But he did. “By the next morning, I felt I had turned a corner quite a bit so I considered myself very fortunate that I recovered that quick,” Deren said.
He went home, quarantined in his bedroom and took oral steroids. He is finally back to work and feeling better.
Deren said he believes going to the hospital early made all the difference in the end.
“I think that it’s important for people to know that this is real and we should do everything we can avoid contracting it but also get treatment if you do contract it,” Deren said.
Deren said he believes he contracted the virus from his 23-year-old son. His son didn’t get as sick as Deren and is also doing better.
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