How I Survived COVID-19: What They Don’t Seem to Want You to Know

Certain treatment protocols have demonstrated efficacy but have garnered little interest from official sources

I was one of the first 25,000 known COVID-19 cases in the United States in early March 2020 and was lucky enough to find a doctor who thought outside the box. He successfully treated me—possibly saving my life—against the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As I was the first adult COVID-19 case my doctor—a pediatrician—had treated, he documented my progress and submitted his findings to the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and a network of 26,000 doctors. He also shared them in a Facebook post.

What transpired next was an attack by doctors in his own network. Additionally, the social media post outlining his treatment was censored and deleted by Facebook, and the CDC and the WHO ignored his findings.

Despite the backlash, my doctor went on to successfully treat hundreds of adults with COVID-19, seeing more than 40 a day for three months at one point during the pandemic. He’s one of the many unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During my recovery over the following months, I watched reports of hundreds of thousands of people dying from COVID-19 while the CDC continued to strongly recommend that people not take the medications I credit for helping to save my life. Sadly, three years into the pandemic, they still are ignored or rejected by the major health agencies.

Unfortunately, many doctors who have shared COVID-19 treatment protocols that differ from the CDC have lost their livelihoods. Because of this, my doctor wishes not to be named in this article; he would like to continue to save lives in peace. I will call refer to him as Dr. Wes to respect his wishes.

My COVID-19 Timeline

As a child, I suffered from severe asthma, but the severity of my condition diminished and became mild in my adult years. I was 41 and in excellent physical and cardiovascular health at the time of contracting COVID-19 in early 2020. Here is a brief timeline of my illness progression:

Day 3 after exposure: I had mild sinus infection symptoms. A telemedicine doctor prescribed azithromycin, also known as Z-Pak, and prednisone, but refused to issue a COVID-19 test due to a lack of respiratory symptoms. (At that time, COVID-19 testing was only obtained through a doctor’s referral.)

Day 5: My symptoms worsened and included severe headache, sinuses completely inflamed, body aches, low energy, and a heavy feeling in the lungs when breathing. No fever. I finally got a COVID-19 test at one of the first drive-thru sites.

Day 7: My symptoms worsened, but I still had no fever. I was contacted by a disease investigation and intervention specialist with the state health department who confirmed the result of the COVID-19 test as positive. I was told to stay home unless I needed to go to the hospital. No additional treatment advice was given.

Day 10: I completed my prescribed run of azithromycin and prednisone. Breathing was more difficult; I still had no fever. I started nebulizer treatments of albuterol (I had these on hand from a previous bronchitis bout). No improvement from medication.

Day 12: My symptoms worsened, with severe burning in my feet and dizziness. My lungs started to feel like they were failing, and it felt like I was suffocating or drowning. I contacted urgent care and asked for a prescription for hydroxychloroquine, but they refused. I was told by the nurse that they were only prescribing it to those who were dying. I mentioned I would probably be close to dying in a few days and that it would be great if we could avoid getting to that point. They still refused but finally agreed to prescribe a steroid inhalant, budesonide.

The budesonide and albuterol inhalant only gave me a four-hour window of minor ease of breathing. My lungs were still worsening.

I contacted Dr. Wes, a pediatrician recommended by a friend. He told me to go to the hospital for a chest X-ray, treatment, and a prescription for more racemic epinephrine.

The hospital refused to give me the prescription. The doctor said I couldn’t breathe well because I had COVID-19 and all they could do was intubate me once I was worse. I went home.

Wes wrote me the prescription so I could start on three treatments daily of racemic epinephrine as well as budesonide and albuterol.

Day 14: My breathing began to stabilize.

Day 19: My throat swelled shut, so I rushed to Wes’s office. He diagnosed me with a secondary bacterial infection. I still had no fever.

Doctor’s PSA

The remainder of my treatment journey is outlined below in a censored and deleted Facebook post that Wes posted on Nov. 11, 2020, after successfully treating hundreds more adults with COVID-19. Many were elderly with underlying conditions.

His post was his attempt to help save more lives after the CDC, WHO, and the doctors network failed to acknowledge this treatment’s success. It was also a warning that inflammation and secondary bacterial infections were major contributors to mortality from the COVID-19 virus. A few deletions have been made to protect his identity:

“First of all, Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all of those who have served our country.

“I am often asked about the treatments I am using with my COVID-19 patients, so I thought I would begin with my adult case zero, the first adult patient that I inherited. The first adult I treated with COVID-19 early in the pandemic was a 41-year-old asthmatic female. … She was in excellent physical and cardiovascular health at the time of contracting the illness.

“March 12, 2012: Felt like she had a sinus infection (few, if any of the approx. 80 adults I have treated had a fever at the start of COVID). …

“March 24, 2020: Patient reported she couldn’t breathe so I referred her to the [emergency room]. ER said to come back when she couldn’t breathe at all. Started on azithromycin. Already on albuterol and budesonide breathing treatments.

“March 24, 2020: Added racemic epinephrine breathing treatments.

“March 26, 2020: The patient reported to me that she felt like the racemic epinephrine stabilized her lungs and was the first time her breathing improved.

“March 31, 2020: We clinically diagnosed her with a secondary bacterial infection. I felt like she might not make it if I kept following the guidelines at the time, so I asked her if she wanted me to … treat her the same way I treated every severe pediatric Coronavirus patient for 17 years, or I could continue to follow the current [CDC] guidelines and we could hope for the best.

“That night, a doctor friend she knew told her, ‘[Dr. Wes] is going to kill you.’ She was very intelligent and asked the doctor how many COVID-19 patients he treated to which he replied, ‘Zero.’

“March 31, 2020: Ceftriaxone 1 gm daily shots were begun for five days, Dexamethasone 8 mg daily shots were begun for five days. After the second day of shots, she finally felt like her lungs began “purging” all the fluid. Continued to alternate racemic epinephrine, Albuterol, and Budesonide breathing treatments daily.

“First week of April: Repeated shot regimen—Ceftriaxone 1 gm daily shots x 4 or 5 days, Dexamethasone shots 8 mg daily for 4 or five days.

“After the shots were completed: Patient finally felt like she could breathe again, but continued to have fatigue and exercise intolerance, but was no longer at risk from COVID-19.

“Every physician should consider their own clinical judgment and guidelines when deciding how to treat COVID-19 patients and this is not meant to criticize the current guidelines nor any other physician’s treatment of their patients.”

How COVID-19 Kills

When the SARS-CoV-2 virus invades the body, it can cause an imbalance in the immune system that can prove fatal.

“What ‘kills’ COVID-19 patients is dysregulated systemic inflammation,” the authors of a commentary published in Critical Care Explorations wrote in April 2020.

This dysregulation can cause a “cytokine storm,” a severe life-threatening condition, also known as cytokine release syndrome (CRS).

Another study published in Mediators of Inflammation in January 2022 states, “What relentlessly takes the patient’s life is the overactive immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2 virus infection.”

Inflammation is normally a beneficial response of our immune system to fight off infection and help us heal.

A CRS is a life-threatening inflammatory response caused by an overproduction of cytokines, which are proteins that regulate the body’s immune response. This inflammation causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the body’s own cells and tissues.

Patients with mild CRS mainly show nonspecific clinical symptoms such as fever, rash, fatigue, anorexia, diarrhea, joint pain, headache, myalgia, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. More severe cases can cause severe lung damage, cardiovascular symptoms, hematologic symptoms, acute kidney injury, and multiple organ failure.

CRS leads to abnormalities such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which may lead to respiratory failure—the leading cause of death in those suffering from COVID-19.

Dr. Roger Seheult, who is quadruple board-certified in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, critical care medicine, and sleep medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine, breaks down this process in a 2020 medical lecture.

He says the lungs become inflamed due to the cytokine storm. A leakage of fluids into the interstitial space between the alveoli and capillaries, and into the alveoli themselves, blocks oxygen from getting into the bloodstream and causes the entire body to become hypoxic (deprived of oxygen).

This creates a feeling of heaviness and difficulty breathing, or as I describe it, a feeling of drowning or suffocating on the fluid in the lungs.

Immune dysregulation and the abnormal inflammatory response of a CRS causes widespread tissue injury and can lead to bacterial growth and infections.

More recently, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found “higher mortality rates were associated with patients in the coinfection group compared to the SARS-CoV-2-only infected group (50% vs. 18.7%, respectively).” In other words, patients who had COVID-19 and a bacterial co-infection were far more likely to die.

study published in BCM Infectious Diseases in March 2022 found that 68 percent of the 94 patients in the study acquired at least one of the studied secondary bacterial infections during their ICU stay. Almost two-thirds of patients (62 percent) acquired secondary pneumonia.

“This study confirms that the incidence of secondary bacterial infections in critically ill patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 is very high,” the authors stated.

Another study that sought to analyze the death risk due to coinfections in 212 severely ill COVID-19 patients found that the mortality rate was 50.47 percent. Fungal or bacterial isolation occurred in 89 patients, of whom 83.14 percent died. Coinfected patients were hospitalized longer and had a higher risk of dying.

“The early diagnosis of coinfections is essential to identify high-risk patients and to determine the right interventions to reduce mortality,” the study states.

Published papers speculate that the current estimated percentage of people dying from COVID-19 secondary bacterial infection may be underestimated, as “few papers report the species identity or time of specimen collection, making it impossible to determine whether any patients presented with bacterial infection at the time of hospital admission.”

Why the Protocol Saved My Life

My COVID-19 experience followed the same course laid out above. Wes aggressively treated the inflammation in my lungs and the secondary bacterial infection, allowing my body to heal. Here is a brief outline of the medications my doctor used:

1. Racemic epinephrine is a bronchodilator that quickly reduces inflammation. It helped reduce the fluid in my airways that was inhibiting the oxygenation of my blood. Bronchodilators are used when individuals have lower than optimal airflow through the lungs. They make breathing easier by relaxing the muscles in the lungs and widening the airways (bronchi).

Racemic epinephrine’s efficacy in the treatment of patients with inflammation of the larynx, trachea, and bronchi has been well-documented.

Racemic epinephrine also acts by narrowing the airway mucosa through stimulation of the alpha and beta-adrenergic receptors. This helps to reduce edema (build-up of fluid) in the lungs. Reducing edema can improve lung function by decreasing the pressure in the blood vessels, which prevents fluid from entering the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs.

2. Ceftriaxone is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, including those in the respiratory system, by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. It’s effective against bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics.

3. Dexamethasone is a glucocorticoid that has an anti-inflammatory effect shown to prevent and suppress cytokine storm development in COVID-19 patients.

Studies show the effect of COVID-19 on the cardiovascular system is more severe in patients with elevated levels of inflammatory factors such as interleukin (IL)-6. Dexamethasone significantly reduces the level of IL-6 and was the first drug shown to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients.

Forgetting History’s Deadly Consequences

Viral infections of the respiratory tract have long been linked to the risk of secondary bacterial infections. Bacterial coinfections were considered a major cause of death in previous influenza pandemics.

During the outbreaks of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in 2003 and H1N1 influenza in 2009, bacterial complications were associated with serious outcomes such as death and admission to intensive care.

Upward of 95 percent mortality was directly attributable to secondary bacterial pneumonia in the 1918 Spanish flu.

In a 2008 news release titled “Implications for Future Pandemic Planning,” researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated:

“The majority of deaths during the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 were not caused by the influenza virus acting alone. … Instead, most victims succumbed to bacterial pneumonia following influenza virus infection. The pneumonia was caused when bacteria that normally inhabit the nose and throat invaded the lungs along a pathway created when the virus destroyed the cells that line the bronchial tubes and lungs.

“Pathologists of the time … were nearly unanimous in the conviction that deaths were not caused directly by the then-unidentified influenza virus but rather resulted from severe secondary pneumonia caused by various bacteria. Absent the secondary bacterial infections, many patients might have survived, experts at the time believed.

“A future influenza pandemic may unfold in a similar manner.

“Preparations for diagnosing, treating, and preventing bacterial pneumonia should be among highest priorities in influenza pandemic planning.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci is quoted in the release as saying, “We are encouraged by the fact that pandemic planners are already considering and implementing some of these actions.”

Research has now found that secondary bacterial infections in COVID-19 patients are a stronger predictor for death compared to in influenza patients. A study published in Nature in June 2021 found that in-hospital deaths from pulmonary secondary bacterial infection were two times more prevalent in COVID-19 patients than in influenza patients.

Questioning the Ethics of CDC and WHO

On Feb. 4, 2020, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act was implemented, granting immunity to individuals working to combat the pandemic (except in cases of willful misconduct) from liability claims that may arise from the use or administration of covered countermeasures. These include COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and any approved drugs or therapeutics to treat the disease.

On Feb. 15, 2020, a commentary regarding the use of corticosteroids (CST) for COVID-19, coauthored by a member of the WHO panel on clinical management, stated there were “conclusive data” to suggest that patients with COVID-19 ARDS don’t benefit from corticosteroids. This resulted in the WHO and CDC COVID-19 treatment protocols recommending against corticosteroids, including dexamethasone.

commentary written by several doctors and published in the Society of Critical Care Medicine in April 2020 criticized this interpretation and called it “biased and without evidence-based support.”

They stated, “There is no justification based on available evidence and professional ethics to categorically deny the use of CST in severe life-threatening ‘cytokine storm’ associated with COVID-19.”

They argue that the “conclusive” statement rested on only four small studies without including results from another 25 publications, disregarded the results of two major studies (on 5,327 SARS and 2,141 H1N1 patients) showing significant reductions in mortality, and a SARS study that found CST was safe and reduced death risk by 47 percent.

As of Dec. 28, 2022, the CDC COVID-19 guidelines still recommend against the use of dexamethasone or other systemic corticosteroids in the absence of another indication. They list preferred therapies such as Paxlovid, remdesivir, and molnupiravir, and there is no mention of treatment for cytokine storm-induced inflammation or secondary bacterial infections.

The Importance of Early Treatment

My battle with COVID-19 left me with severe lung damage, microvascular damage, and what we now call long-COVID, which severely impacted my life for almost two years.

My doctor stated that my case would not have been severe if I had been treated early on and with the right medications.

Dr. Pierre Cory, a critical care physician and one of the founding physicians of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance has done extensive research on the early treatment and progression of COVID-19. His work shows that the first one to five days are crucial in the successful treatment of COVID-19.

In early July 2022, I was hit again with COVID-19. This time, it was much more severe from day one. I had a 102-degree fever, severe body aches, and difficulty breathing. My symptoms were getting worse by the day.

Day 3: I started on Wes’s medication protocol. By that evening, most of my symptoms were gone.

Day 4: I was given a Myers’ cocktail IV and ozone infusion.

Day 6: I took NAC (N-acetylcysteine) supplements daily and had no more symptoms except for mild brain fog and fatigue, which disappeared within two weeks.

All my symptoms resolved within two weeks, and I experienced no long-COVID or ongoing lung issues.

I owe my life to Wes. Early in my treatment, he promised he wouldn’t let me die. He kept that promise. I am deeply grateful for him and for all the doctors that have refused medical tyranny and used their own clinical judgment and guidelines when deciding how to treat COVID-19 patients.


Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times. Epoch Health welcomes professional discussion and friendly debate. To submit an opinion piece, please follow these guidelines and submit through our form here.

Christy A. Prais received her business degree from Florida International University. She is the founder and host of Discovering True Health, a YouTube channel and podcast dedicated to health and wellness. Prais also serves on the advisory board at the Fostering Care Healing School. She is a contributing journalist for The Epoch Times.
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