‘Miracle’ viagra ‘saves’ nurse with ‘30% chance of surviving Covid’ by opening up airway



A nurse was “saved” by Viagra after it opened up her airway after she was hospitalised with coronavirus.

Nurse Monica Almeida was placed on a ventilator and her family were warned she was 72 hours away from her life support machine being switched off.

However, within 48 hours of receiving the drug – typically prescribed for erectile dysfunction – her airway had opened up and she started to recover.

Mum-of-two Monica, 37, from Gainsborough, was finally released from hospital on Christmas Eve in what she described as a ‘little Christmas miracle’, LincolnshireLive reports.

She said: “It was definitely the Viagra that saved me.

The mum-of-two was 72 hours away from her life support being switched off
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Monica Almeida/The Lincolnite)

Monica’s husband Artur also tested positive for coronavirus
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Monica Almeida/The Lincolnite)

“Within 48 hours it opened up my airwaves and my lungs started to respond.

“If you think how the drug works, it expands your blood vessels.

“I have asthma and my air sacks needed a little help.”

Following her treatment, the amount of oxygen Monica needed dropped by around 50% and her condition began to improve.

“I had a little joke with the consultant after I came round because I knew him,” Monica added.

“He told me it was the Viagra, I laughed and thought he was joking, but he said ‘no, really, you’ve had a large dose of Viagra.’

“It was my little Christmas miracle.”

Monica, who was born in Portugal and is now a British citizen living in Gainsborough, is a respiratory specialist nurse in the community for BOC Healthcare and has treated numerous patients with coronavirus, working for the NHS in North Lincolnshire.

She explained her experience working in the NHS helped her prepare, but it also made her time in Lincoln County Hospital more frightening, as she knew exactly what was happening.

At one point Monica nearly died and her parents were told to fly to England to potentially say goodbye to their daughter.

Monica said: “They were told my ventilator could be turned off within 72 hours.

“I could have been gone at just 37 years old, but I suppose I was a bit of a monkey and kept on fighting.”

Monica, who had her first and second COVID-19 jabs in March and May respectively, said she was told by a consultant in ICU (Intensive Care Unit) that if she hadn’t been vaccinated then she would have died.

After more than a month in hospital with COVID pneumonia, Monica is now on the road to recovery at home.

She said she owes her life to the staff at Lincoln County Hospital, where she started her nursing career and worked between 2011 and 2017.

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“When I left the hospital all the staff were in tears, it was so emotional.

“They said I had just a 30% chance of survival, but I made it home for Christmas.”

Monica was having at least two coronavirus tests a week due to her work.

She tested positive for COVID after a lateral flow test on October 31 last year – only a very faint line showed up and Monica booked in for a PCR test soon after which confirmed the diagnosis.

She had been unwell for a few weeks with a cough, but she believed that was related to her asthma.

Monica didn’t develop coronavirus symptoms until a couple of days after the positive result.

Artur was able to visit his wife in hospital
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Monica Almeida/The Lincolnite)

Monica said Viagra helped open up her airways
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Monica Almeida/The Lincolnite)

By day four the mother-of-two had lost her sense of taste and smell before coughing up blood the next day.

On the fifth day, her oxygen levels had dropped.

She was taken to another hospital in Greater Lincolnshire by ambulance for two days running, but after being in A&E all night Monica says she was discharged with a prescription and no treatment.

Within two hours of being home, she woke up coughing and couldn’t breathe properly so her husband called 999.

This time Monica was instead taken to Lincoln County Hospital – on arrival she was critically ill and went straight to the resuscitation room.

She was on 15 litres of oxygen to try to get her back to normal levels, as well as being put on a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine.

She stayed on the COVID ward overnight but her condition deteriorated and she was admitted to ICU on November 9.

Monica was then put into a coma on November 16 as her condition continued to get worse and her oxygen levels were not reaching normal.

She can’t remember much from being in the coma other than hallucinating.

But before she was put to sleep, Monica signed a document saying she was happy to be in a study to try experimental drugs.

She was given Viagra around a week after being in a coma, which opened up her airways.

Her lungs started responding to it and the oxygen she needed lowered by around 50% as her condition began to improve.

“I have heard of Viagra being used on Covid patients in Europe, maybe it will become more common here,” Monica added.

“After all the doctors are trying to find new ways all the time to deal with Covid.”

Monica also caught an infection during her time in hospital which made things very difficult for her.

After around two-and-a-half weeks in a coma, she was given a tracheotomy, but it wasn’t until December 14 when she was fully awake and conscious that she started to feel more like herself.

After three days of being fully awake, she managed to stand up with assistance.

She was being kept in a side room at ICU, but there were no beds free on the other wards for her to move to and, as she was getting better, she requested that she could be considered for going home.

Monica had four negative COVID-19 tests, including during her final week in hospital, before being discharged on Christmas Eve to go home and be with her family.

The after-effects of being in hospital mean Monica currently has poor mobility and needs help to wash and get dressed.

As she had been confined to a bed for so long in hospital, her recovery could take several months or even longer.

She is determined to recover fully and hopes to return to work in the future, but admits “it won’t be any time soon.”

Monica’s husband, Artur, and her two sons, aged nine and 14, all tested positive for coronavirus, which meant there were times when they couldn’t visit, making it an even tougher experience.

Monica now has a message to anti-vaxxers or anyone unsure whether or not to get the jab.

She said: “There are people out there saying the vaccine has killed people.

“I’m not denying there are people who react and get poorly with the vaccine, but when we look at the number of deaths we have in unvaccinated people there is a big message there to have your jab.

“It does worry me, especially in Lincolnshire, that people are against having the vaccine.

“I never expected at 37 years of age to get as ill as I did.

“I never thought this would happen to me and I want people to take it more seriously.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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