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Anibal De Avila

COVID in the Rearview Mirror

Holy Name - Anibal De Avila

Anibal De Avila lives in a house with extended family so when COVID hit one member, the virus quickly spread to four more loved ones. It was a scary time, as one by one, they each started experiencing symptoms.

Anibal, 47, had some coughing fits and pretty bad congestion. But what really affected him was a massive headache that wouldn’t subside, even with over-the-counter medication.

“The headache was completely debilitating,” Anibal said. “I couldn’t concentrate on anything and working in IT, I needed to be able to focus. I couldn’t believe how hard this virus attacks the brain.”

By then four adults and one child in the household were sick and the only one still healthy, Anibal’s wife, was taking care of all of them. He wanted to do more to help but was declining and started to worry what the future held. He was extremely fatigued and feeling weaker.

Just as his anxiety was rising, he heard about monoclonal antibody treatment being offered at Holy Name Medical Center. Holy Name was one of the first hospitals in the nation to participate in clinical trials that offered this treatment and is now widely available to eligible patients at the Medical Center.

Monoclonal antibodies help reduce the symptoms of COVID and prevent it from making patients seriously ill. The antibodies are developed and manufactured in a lab, based on antibodies provided by people who have recovered from COVID. They are not a blood product.

Anibal, with hypertension and another health condition that made him eligible for the treatment, went to the hospital for the hour-long infusion. He stayed another hour for observation before returning home.

“Within two hours I felt better,” Anibal said. “I went from being so nervous in the morning, worried about how bad this was going to get, to counting the time until I could be out of quarantine. It was like a miracle. I felt so much better.”

Patients must meet certain criteria to receive monoclonal antibody treatment. Among the requirements are being over age 65 or people with other health concerns that put them at an increased risk for complications from COVID. Learn more about monoclonal antibody treatment.

“I’m so grateful to Holy Name for making this treatment available,” Anibal said. “The people were great when I went for the infusion – so helpful and professional. This made such a difference in my life – I was able to put COVID in the rearview mirror.”

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations and treatment