'Healthy' New Jersey athlete, 25, in coma after lab lost his positive coronavirus test results delaying treatment
Jack Allard's mother alleged that the delay set back her son's treatment by nearly five days
A 25-year-old man from New Jersey is reportedly on the brink of death as he was put in an induced coma after doctors lost his coronavirus test results. The man, identified as Jack Allard, has been on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma for nearly six days at a hospital in Edison, according to his family.
Allard, a lacrosse player who works at the Bank of America in Manhattan, first fell sick on March 13. He was reportedly suffering from high fever, back pain, and nausea. Considering his age, Allard initially was not seen as a typical coronavirus patient. He also had no pre-existing conditions and he had not traveled abroad in the recent past.
The young man's mother, Genny Allard, complained of initial hurdles in getting the coronavirus test and when the test was done, the lab processing it lost his sample, Genny told ABC News. She told the outlet that the delay set back her son's treatment by nearly five days and he was not allowed access to potentially life-saving experimental drugs.
Genny also slammed health officials for giving NBA players access to COVID-19 tests with minimal symptoms before people who were in a critical condition.
"There's no reason why NBA players with their sniffles are getting their results before my son who is on a ventilator," Genny said. "My son is healthy, no pre-existing conditions and he's 25 - this virus is really dangerous and now he is very, very sick." New Jersey currently has over 4,400 cases and more than 62 confirmed deaths.
Reports state that Allard, since his positive diagnosis, has been airlifted to the University of Pennsylvania to be part of a clinical trial for the novel antiviral drug Remdesivir.
There are no FDA-approved drugs or vaccines for the new coronavirus in the market. Health experts, however, are conducting studies with experimental drugs and vaccines to test their efficiency in treating the disease.
The antiviral Remdesivir was originally developed for Ebola and is now being used in at least five experimental treatments for coronavirus. Reports state that the drug has already been administered to hundreds of patients but studies are being conducted to determine if it works in the treatment. The drug reportedly works by interfering with viral reproduction and has shown some promise in laboratories and animal studies against other coronaviruses strains that cause similar diseases like MERS and SARS.
The US, as of March 26 morning, has witnessed over a thousand deaths and more than 63,000 cases. The latest figures showed that New York, which is considered the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the US, now has at least 50 percent of the total confirmed coronavirus cases in the nation - 30,800 confirmed cases and 366 deaths. Meanwhile, Washington, which was initially considered the epicenter of the outbreak, now has 2,588 confirmed cases and 132 deaths.