coronavirus

Teen at High Risk of Serious COVID-19 Illness Beats the Disease With Remdesivir

A North Texas teen at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 beats the disease after receiving the trial drug

NBCUniversal, Inc.

People with sickle cell disease are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One North Texas teenager is battling both and winning.

NBC 5 first met Maria Miseda in 2019 during a Clear The Shelters story about kids who read to pets.

“Animals don't judge you like humans do,” Miseda said in the 2019 story.

At the time, the 17-year-old was learning a third language, her mind motivated but her body in constant battle.

At age three, Miseda was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.

Knowing her daughter could get severely sick from COVID-19, mom Vicky Oduk said she's taken safety measures seriously, only leaving home for food or work.

She believes she contracted the virus at work.

“I got infected and I came back home and infected my own children,” Oduk said through tears.

A recent study showed 13 out of 178 COVID-19 patients with sickle cell anemia who registered for the study died.

When Miseda's condition began to deteriorate in the hospital, she said she agreed to receive remdesivir, a trial drug showing promise but with risk.

“Just believe that you’re going to be fine and everything will be fine. It will all work out,” Miseda said.

A few days after the first treatment, Miseda says she showed rapid improvement and was discharged 10 days after being admitted.

“But the spirit and the attitude in which Maria handled it, sometimes I sit back and I ask, ‘Is Miseda the mom or me?'” Oduk said.

“Some things cannot be done without God's help,” Miseda said.

Miseda, Oduk and Miseda's 10-year-old brother Stephen all tested positive.

They remain in quarantine at home and have created a GoFundMe account to help offset medical and living expenses.

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