JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — The woman who went viral after being seen on the floor of a monoclonal antibody treatment site in Jacksonville said the antibody treatment saved her life during a press conference with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Toma Dean was among many people waiting for hours at Jacksonville’s main library for the monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 earlier this month. Dean said at this point, she had been struggling for nine or 10 days with serious COVID-19 symptoms before getting the medicine.
“I had 105 fevers,” she said. “My oxygen at home would drop to in the 70s, 80s, jump back up to 90 very quickly.”
Dean said when she would go to the emergency room, the hospital staff would treat her with fluids, but it would only alleviate the symptoms temporarily.
“I was headed for an ICU bed,” she said. “I was headed for high-flow oxygen, one or the other. There was not a doubt in my mind.”
According to Dean, she didn’t know about the monoclonal antibody treatment site until her mother told her about it the day before. She also was warned by the ER doctor to get the treatment soon.
“At that point, I started crying, and I thought I really was leaving Earth,” she said. “I thought I was leaving. I have two kids, a mother, a boyfriend. I need to be here.”
After getting out of the ER, she went to the monoclonal antibody treatment site at the library to get treatment, where she was photographed on the floor with another woman in a state of weakness. The person who took the photo, Louie Lopez, said Dean and the other woman were moaning in pain while waiting for treatment.
But things started to look up for Dean after she got the treatment.
“Within about 24, 36 hours, I knew I was gonna make it,” she said. “I knew that something had drastically changed within me.”
Dean said she was still feverish since she had been so long without treatment, but within seven to eight days, Dean completely recovered, although her voice is not at full strength.
She said she wants people who have COVID-19 to take advantage of the monoclonal antibody treatment.
“If you look at that photo and you think you’re half that sick, get up today and go to a Regeneron site. Please, you need the treatment. It will save your life.”