An anti-malaria drug can save you from the novel coronavirus, which has so far claimed thousands of lives worldwide, according to a Florida man. Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Fox 11 that the drug, which is one that President Trump has said is being tested as a possible treatment option, has saved his life.

The patient said that he experienced a fever for five days, back pain, headache, cough, and tiredness after attending a work-related conference in New York. After returning home, he claims he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and pneumonia at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in South Florida.

During his time in the hospital, his symptoms were not alleviated. "I was at the point where I was barely able to speak and breathing was very challenging. I really thought my end was there. I had been through nine days of solid pain and for me, the end was there. So I made some calls to say in my own way goodbye to my friends and family," Giardinieri said.

coronavirus
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Wikimedia Commons

The man then claims a friend told him about a possible treatment option, an anti-malarial drug known as hydroxychloroquine. This drug is the same that successfully treated auto-immune diseases like lupus, according to New York Post.

Some researchers in France recently issued a statement in which they detailed how a combination of the anti-malarial medication and antibiotics could be a vital weapon in the battle against the coronavirus. However, such use has yet to be approved by the federal agency.

An infectious disease doctor treating Giardinieri "gave me all the reasons why I would probably not want to try it because there are no trials, there's no testing, it was not something that was approved."

But, Giardinieri recalled, "I said, 'look I don't know if I'm going to make it until the morning,' because at that point I really thought I was coming to the end because I couldn't breathe anymore."

Giardinieri then received the medication, during which time he felt like his heart was "beating out of his chest" and still experienced difficulty breathing. He then took Benadryl and other drugs and later woke up like "nothing ever happened."