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Avera Medical Minute: Elderly Pierre couple recovers from COVID-19 and receives first vaccine

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:40 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Donald and Netta Lammon from Pierre have shared many things through the years. When the couple, both in their 90′s, tested positive for COVID-19 and developed symptoms, they also shared a hospital room.

“I ended up in the hospital and then he came in and admitted himself. And the doctor comes back in and he said he definitely has COVID-19. He said, we’re going to keep him overnight so you will keep you both,” said Netta.

Both qualified for antibody treatment.

“I was pretty sick for about three days and then just like that, I kind of went out of it,” said Donald.

Avera Internal Medicine physician Dr. Darrell Plumage wishes the life-saving treatment could have been available sooner.

“South Dakota nursing homes at the time, I believe many of the deaths that occurred in the early part of the pandemic could have been avoided,” said Dr. Plumage.

The FDA has given emergency use authorization for the infusions. According to Plumage, to qualify for an antibody infusion, a patient needs to be COVID positive and be considered high risk. Those factors may include age, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, and other factors.

“So currently we have multiple cocktails of monoclonal antibodies available to help outpatients prevent their transition to more severe disease, including hospitalization, if possible,” said Plumage.

Like others receiving the treatment, they needed to wait 90 days to receive their first COVID vaccination.

“When they said we could have it I was ready,” said Netta.

“The vaccination is still extremely important. The current vaccines that we have, have actually been shown to be effective against some of the newer variants,” said Plumage.

The couple understands wearing a mask and social distancing is still important.

“Stick with it I guess until we can get that second dose,” said Donald.

And when it’s safe, they look forward to visiting family and hugging their great-grandchildren again.

“We’ll have to have one of the kids coming to get us, bring us back. But our daughter she. We call her she comes running,” said Netta.

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