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Abilene man who was hospitalized with COVID-19 claims hydroxychloriquine saved his life



ABILENE, TX – An Abilene man who was hospitalized after contracting COVID-19 told KTXS he believes hydroxychloroquine, a drug known for treating malaria, helped save his life.

In late March, 55-year-old Malcom Johnson said he felt the worst pain in his life.

“I couldn’t lay down,” said Johnson. “I started getting congestion, bad coughing a lot. My fever was weird because it would go up and down, up and down.”

Johnson was sent to the emergency room at Hendrick Medical Center, where he said he was diagnosed with pneumonia and COVID-19.

“My breathing was real shallow,” said Johnson. “I lost my sense of taste and smell.”

Johnson said doctors gave him several antibiotics, as well as hydroxychloroquine — a drug known to treat malaria.

“When they gave it to me, was that day I begin to move around and do stuff and in talk, I felt better,” said Johnson. “I mean, I was still sick. I knew I was sick. But my thinking was clear enough and everything.”

Johnson said he would take the drug again in a heartbeat.

“I didn’t care,” said Johnson. “They gave it to me and it worked. I’d take it again and I’d recommend it.”

Johnson has recovered from COVID-19, but his sense of smell is still weak.

“I realize it was really bad,” said Johnson. “And I should have understood that from the beginning.”

While he was hospitalized, Johnson said he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

Johnson said his coronavirus diagnosis was a wake-up call to get his health in check.