Medina County woman shares what her battle with COVID was like

Stephanie Clary, 56, of D’Hanis, contacted Dr. Neel after being diagnosed with COVID on May 11, and will forever be grateful that she made a quick recovery, especially when statistics show that COVID has claimed the lives of so many people like her, who have similar underlying conditions. Being diagnosed with COVID was truly a nightmare, as Clary knew that she and her husband both had dangerous co-morbidities.
“We had been so careful because I have a heart condition and high blood pressure, and my husband has cancer, so we are in a very high-risk category when it comes to COVID,” Clary said. “But I had to take my husband to get a cat scan, and the one place we went must have been the place I got it.”
When she started having a horrible sore throat, she decided to go the drive-up testing site that was offered in Hondo.

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“I did not have most of the typical symptoms,” Clary said. “If they hadn’t of had that mobile testing site here in Hondo, I might have never gotten tested, and I could have infected many people before finding out that I had it.”
“The symptoms I did have was that my throat was hurting really bad,” Clary said. “It felt like my throat was scalding, and my feet felt like they were on fire. I was also having chest pain and a terrible headache, which is not common for me. My blood pressure was also really, really bad. It was 190/130 the day before I began treatment.”
“A friend of mine had read an article about Dr. Neel treating COVID patients, and she encouraged me to call him, so I did. Dr. Neel called me back immediately, and I started taking melatonin right away, along with an increase in dosage of Vitamin D and Vitamin C which I was already taking,” Clary said.
“By the next day after beginning the melatonin, my blood pressure went down significantly, chest pains subsided, and my headache also started going away. My other symptoms continually improved, and were gone within a week’s time,” Clary said. “That is amazing because I am a very-high risk case. I have Cardiomyopathy, high blood pressure, and I’m 56 years old. The fact that my symptoms never progressed is amazing to me. My husband, who has colon cancer, also took the melatonin due to having such high exposure to me, but he never developed any symptoms or tested positive. All of my children were tested as well, but all were negative thank God.”
Clary said it was a great comfort to be under a doctor’s care while isolating at home, and she will forever be grateful for the hope and treatment Dr. Neel provided to her during this dark and scary time.
“My primary doctor never even called me back when I contacted them about having COVID. Nobody else offered me any treatment. They just tell you go home and isolate and go the hospital if you start having a hard time breathing,” Clary said.
Clary, who is also a Registered Nurse, stated, “Before calling Dr. Neel, I read what he had to say about melatonin, and it makes sense. This is something that will not hurt you, that you can take along with any other treatment, so I could see no reason not to try it.”
“On top of that, Dr. Neel is so compassionate, he’s just all about helping people. I’ve never met Dr. Neel in my life, but he took the time to call me every single day, asking about my oxygen sat levels, heart rate, blood pressure, etc. It was reassuring to know someone was watching out for me,” Clary said.
“When you get COVID, there is so much more to it than just the illness. There is a great sense of isolation and so much fear and guilt worrying that you could have infected someone else or a family member. My family opened the door and slid my dinner plates inside. I had no contact with them. I watched my 9-year-old grandson’s birthday through the window. It’s really hard,” Clary said.
Through all of this, Clary also wants to thank D’Hanis ISD and the community that showed her family so much love during this difficult time.
“So many reached out in the community and it helped out so much. The even school offered to deliver groceries, and they also did a drive-by parade my grandson. It really meant a lot because, in some ways, the isolation and fear you feel after being diagnosed with COVID is just as bad as the disease itself,” Clary said.
“I am doing well now, and I am grateful for Dr. Neel’s passion to help people and his open-mindedness to try new things like this as we fight through this pandemic.”

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