During these hard times, we also hear stories of hope and success from COVID-19 clinical trials. Officer Chang’s story is also one of those stories.
Officer Chang is 52 years old and serves in LAPD. On March 26, His symptoms of novel coronavirus began and his condition deteriorated very quickly. He was first admitted to Orange County Hospital and later shifted to Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.
By the time he was admitted there, his immune system had already weakened so much that the doctors put him on a ventilator. His lungs were affected badly and began to fail. So, he needed additional treatment options to fight back.
COVID-19 Clinical TrialDoctors started a treatment known as ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation). In this treatment, blood is removed from the body and infused with oxygen, then this oxygen-infused blood is returned to the body. The idea behind this process is to take the load off from the lungs so that they could recover.
After ECMO treatment, Officer Chang was introduced in a clinical trial to a drug, called Sarilumab. This was an antibody-drug aimed at the Interleukin-6 receptor to fight off lung inflammation. It was originally developed for Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment and now is a good candidate drug for COVID-19 clinical trials for treating adult patients with severe symptoms.
"The hardest part of the thing was, my wife and I talked about it the first time I got transported, was that you never know if it's the last time you're going to see your loved ones," Officer Chang said. "And it's — you're on your own.”
Finally, the Sarilumab clinical trial worked for Officer Chang and he started to recover from COVID-19.
Family ReunionAfter being in critical conditions for weeks, Officer Chang met with his wife and kids. Fellow officers from LAPD also came to greet him. He was also presented with the LAPD's highest honor, the Medal of Valor.
On April 17, Officer Chang was discharged from the hospital after fully recovering. He praised the hospital staff and showed his gratitude for taking care of him when there was no hope. Thanks to the COVID-19 clinical trial, his life was saved and he is with his family members now.