'You feel like you're underwater:' Fayetteville man recovering from COVID-19 at home after receiving remdesivir treatment

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- In an effort to combat COVID-19, medical experts have been using an anti-viral drug, known as Remdesivir, to treat patients nationwide.

Harold Lassiter, a Fayetteville local, underwent the treatment after battling the virus for the last three weeks at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

"Every single day, up until today, I've gotten stronger," Lassiter said.

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The 41-year-old, who deals with asthma and high blood pressure, started feeling symptoms on May 8.

After completing a virtual doctor's check-up, his doctor suggested he may have a bad case of allergies; however, his symptoms: lack of appetite, fever, and exhaustion worsened, leading him to get tested for COVID-19.

Six days after the symptoms arose, Lassiter was tested positive for the virus.

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Lassiter's wife rushed him to the Hoke County ER to be treated for his worsening symptoms; but as his ability to breathe became more difficult, medical staff recommended rushing him to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center on May 18.

"You feel like you're underwater, and you're gasping for air. I mean, that's how I felt. And the more I coughed, the hotter I got," Lassiter explained.

At Cape Fear, medical personnel were able to provide Lassiter with oxygen. They eventually offered him the chance to use Remdesivir.

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Lassiter, who was initially cautious and hesitant, decided to start the treatment to help alleviate the tough symptoms.

"I was taking two hours of that med, every single day for five days," Lassiter said.

By May 20, Lassiter was able to start breathing on his own. He was discharged from the hospital two days later.

Lassiter said these last few weeks have given him more appreciation for life and credits his faith in God and the medication for speeding up the process.

"This second phase of my life is very important to have a healthy body. I'm talking about fitness, to eating, to just overall having a healthy body," Lassiter said.

The avid golfer is now working to gain back his strength at home. He has to self-quarantine till June 6, where doctors will have him get tested again for the virus.
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