With so much information at our finger tips, more people are turning to the internet to help care for loved ones battling the coronavirus.
For twenty years, wherever you found Bill Hall, his wife Gabriella wasn’t far away. The two created a huge family and a wonderful life full of laughter and travel.
“I was sure sooner than she was that she was the one I wanted to marry, just a very compatible person, very giving,” said Bill of his wife who worked as a court interpreter for decades.
Nearly a month ago, Gabriella got sick. Like so many others, the diagnosis turned out to be COVID-19.
“She’s been on the ventilator for 11 days so up until the ventilator time, she was in the hospital fifteen days on oxygen,” said Bill.
Bill says she’s fighting hard and he wants to do the same for her. “I just felt I had to do something, being ex-law enforcement, I’m not one to sit back and wait,” said Bill.
He scoured the internet for treatments and found one - a drug called RLF-100 that’s shown promise in treating COVID patients on ventilators.
“The FDA put a fast track on it and made it an emergency situation so people like Gabby could obtain this medication,” said Bill.
Bill says his wife’s doctor hadn’t even heard of it and neither had his primary care physician.
The treatment suggestion was sent up the chain of command, but ultimately didn’t get the go ahead in time.
“She’s been on a ventilator too many days and does not now have COVID and that’s the two criteria they’re now hanging their hat on,” said Bill.
He’s not sure it would have even worked, but not having the option was devastating.
“Find out what the treatment plan currently is and what treatment protocols are in place,” said Karen Mercereau.
Mercereau is a nurse and independent patient advocate out of Tucson. She says building a positive working relationship with medical staff can help you get those answers.
“Now if they have not tried everything that is FDA approved, then find that out and say, 'would it be possible to try this, that or the other thing?” said Mercereau.
She says clinical trials are complicated, require a lot of paperwork and approval.
Sadly, as was the case with Gabriella, the treatment window closed. But she says Bill was on the right track and they’re now working together to find other options in hopes of bringing the love of his life home.
“I wanted to get not only the information out for Gabby’s benefit but for anybody else who might be in the same situation and they can inform these people hopefully in time where they don’t have to go through what I’m going through,” said Bill.