Clinical trial may have helped COVID patient beat life-threatening pneumonia

Paul “Pee-J” Beverly doesn’t remember being airlifted to VCU Health from Lexington, Va., last fall. In fact, he doesn’t remember much of his COVID-19 experience at all.

But his girlfriend, Angela Griffin, does.

“It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through,” she said. “Not being able to see him, barely being able to talk to him. And knowing it was touch and go. They pretty much prepared his parents and me for the idea that he might not make it.”

But Pee-J, 45, survived his harrowing experience with COVID-19 thanks to the extensive treatment and compassion of his many VCU Health doctors, nurses and on-site therapists. And his participation in a clinical trial may have helped him overcome the dangerous pneumonia that hit him hard.

“His parents gave permission for the doctors to do whatever they could to try to save his life,” Angela said. “There was no hesitation to join a clinical trial. They were thankful to have the option.”

When the pandemic hit, there were no approved treatments for COVID-19. VCU Health worked quickly to join several trials and bring cutting-edge treatments to its patients. Pee-J qualified for a trial testing the safety and efficacy of two drugs, MSTT1041A and UTTR1147A, in fighting severe COVID-19 pneumonia in hospitalized patients.

That trial was run by Wright Center leader Arun Sanyal, M.D.

Read Pee-J’s full story at VCU Health.

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