99-year-old Little Rock woman on path to recovery from COVID-19

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There’s a glimmer of hope for a 99-year-old woman battling the coronavirus in Little Rock.

It was devastating when families learned COVID-19 had spread through Briarwood Nursing Home.

Since early March, the Pulaski County Coroner said four residents have died.

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But with a lot of fight and a lot of faith, 99-year-old Evelyn Rand is on her way to recovery.

Rand’s family tells us she was one of the first of 38 residents to test positive for the virus.

“Immediately in my mind, I thought, ‘oh my goodness.’ I have heard the stories out of Washington state about how it’s impacted nursing homes,” said Ashley McConnell, Rand’s granddaughter.

Rand’s diagnosis left McConnell especially emotional and fearful that her grandmother would die alone.

“My mom is in Little Rock and I think that’s been the hardest thing because she hasn’t been able to see her,” said McConnell.

With healthcare experience of her own, McConnell became her grandmother’s advocate for life early-on in the diagnosis.

“We did ask for them to exercise the Right to Try Act based on what had been used in other countries,” said McConnell. “In this case, it was Hydroxychloroquine. So she was started on a five-day dose of mono-therapy.”

Rand is now four weeks into her coronavirus diagnosis. Doctors have told the family she’s doing outstanding, which brings hope for a full recovery.

“Those patients that have recovered, that’s going to bring so much hope to people. That’s what we want to hear right now,” said McConnell.

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McConnell said she’s waiting to hear the word “recovered” from doctors. That could come as early as Thursday.

“I look forward to celebrating her 100th birthday in July,” said McConnell. “I can’t wait to see her and hug her again.”