Staff members at a Missouri hospital lined a hallway and clapped for an 87-year old as he left the facility Thursday, a survivor of a virus that has taken the lives of thousands his age in the U.S. alone.
Don Lochmoeller was discharged after spending 10 days at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Louis County, Missouri, where he received treatment for complications related to COVID-19, according to CNN affiliate KMOV.
“I’m feeling wonderful. I’m delighted to be alive and well and ready to go again,” he said.
More than 3,500 people have tested positive for the virus in Missouri and 77 patients have died, according to state health officials.
According to his daughter, Lochmoeller was treated with the malaria drug, hydroxychoroquine, and an antibiotic. Once he started using the medication, she said, it took a couple of days until he perked up and was telling jokes again.
“Kudos to St. Luke’s, they’ve really done a wonderful job,” said Amy Stoker, his daughter.
When Lochmoeller emerged from the hospital Thursday, he was greeted by cheers from loved ones who gathered to celebrate. “We couldn’t see him for so many days, and it was hard to be away from him,” said his granddaughter, Dana Irwin.
Lochmoeller was suffering from dehydration and weakness when he arrived to the hospital last week, according to Stoker.
Stoker said her father did not test positive for COVID-19 until being admitted to the hospital.
A clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 is currently underway at the National Institutes of Health as its efficacy remains unclear.