Woman recovers from COVID-19

Adrian Arima and Monica Yeung Arima started feeling ill during their flight back to the Bay Area on March 3 from their vacation to London and Egypt. 

“It’s sort of the same as the general flu. No fever at the beginning,” Monica Yeung Arima, 64, said in a phone interview with the Nichi Bei Weekly. “It’s just an achy body knowing that you’re coming down with something.”

ON THE MEND ­— Monica Yeung Arima (left) and her husband, Adrian, are recovering from a COVID-19 scare. photo courtesy of Monica Yeung Arima

Monica Yeung, who also has asthma and diabetes, was sure that she and her husband contracted the coronavirus during their Feb. 9 to March 3 vacation.

The Palo Alto couple went to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation March 3. She said her husband, Adrian, 70, had an appointment the following day, and she obtained an appointment March 5.

To undergo testing for the coronavirus, the Arimas first had to take a preliminary influenza virus test, she said. Since the influenza test came back negative, the doctor proceeded to ask her questions about her age, recent travels and whether she was a high-risk patient.

She said the doctor called her on March 6 to tell her that the couple would not be able to take the COVID-19 test because they “could not get approved by the county for the test.” She said the Palo Alto Medical Foundation did not have the test kits ready. Since the couple was denied their COVID-19 test, she asked her husband to e-mail a clinic to inquire about a Website she knew of that had test kits available.

On March 9, she took the COVID-19 test, and had an x-ray of her lungs. She learned she had pneumonia. She was taken by ambulance to the Stanford Hospital where she waited several hours to be admitted and eventually sent to an isolation room.

“They hooked me up with IV on both arms, tested my blood and gave me an x-ray,” she said of the start of her hospitalization.

The next day, Adrian was admitted to the hospital to be tested for COVID-19. She said his pneumonia was less severe, and he was discharged after three days.

Monica Yeung, who said she tested positive for COVID-19, said she was one of the first patients to be treated for a clinical trial at Stanford Hospital. Her clinical trial started March 15 and lasted five days. The clinical trial was testing a drug called remdesivir by Gilead Sciences, according to ABC7. 

Eventually, Monica Yeung was released from the hospital. “My fever ha(d) stabilized, my oxygen level ha(d) stabilized, so I was being discharged on Friday the 20th,” Monica Yeung said.

Monica Yeung and Adrian have since been in isolation at home, she said. Monica Yeung said she is feeling better, but is still on the mend.

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