TROY — Like many senior high school students around the country, Delaney Davis, 18, of Troy, is navigating her final year at Troy High School — although her senior year will be anything but ordinary due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Davis tested positive for the virus on Oct. 24. She noticed she was extremely tired, but it was when she lost her sense of taste and smell that she knew she likely would test positive.
After she was tested, she was given paperwork to fill out for volunteers for a clinical trial for Regeneron — the antibody treatment which is being studied that may reduce Coronavirus symptoms and possibly shorten the life of the virus within the body.
According to reports, Miami Valley Hospital is the only clinical site in Ohio participating in the ReGN-COV2 study with both hospitalized patients and those like Davis who recovered from the home.
When he tested positive for COVID-19 last month, President Donald Trump received a dose of REGN-COV2 following an “expanded access” request from the president’s physicians.
According to Miami Valley Hospital’s press release about the trial, REGN-COV2 is an investigational antibody cocktail that is in clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. It consists of two potent, complementary virus-neutralizing antibodies and was designed specifically to target the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) virus. Preliminary data released by Regeneron showed that REGN-COV2 reduced viral levels and time to alleviate symptoms in non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Davis, who shared that she plans to pursue nursing, said she’s happy to help with research for the double-blind clinical trial. Davis could have received the Regeneron treatment in high or low dosage or be part of the placebo group.
“If it can go to research, what do I have to lose?” Davis said last week. “If doctors can get information about how to treat people to help heal them, it helps everyone. It’s a serious thing for people who are compromised and the elderly.”
A home health nurse will go to Davis’ home every two days for four weeks to swab her for COVID-19. She’ll also provide test tubes of blood to detect levels of the virus.
Davis, who said she’s interested in aiding the elderly in the nursing field, said doctors explained that years down the road she may be able to know what role she played in the research.
“I’m in the second phase of the trial and one of 780 in the world doing it. To think that I’m one of those 780 people I thought was really special,” Davis said.
Davis said she and her mother Amanda Medley took the social distancing, mask-wearing, and other precautions very seriously before her positive test. Delaney believes she likely fell ill at school.
“I wear my mask everywhere I go to protect myself. It’s a respect thing. I want to be sure that I don’t give it to anyone,” Davis said. Davis’ mother said when Delaney came down with the symptoms, first exhaustion, then the loss of taste and smell, and then tightness in the chest, her daughter immediately went into quarantine in the home. Medley said she’d leave meals outside her daughter’s door.
“We really tried to do everything to keep from getting sick,” she said. Medley said she was a little nervous about Davis participating in the clinical trial because of the unknown side effects, but supported her daughter’s efforts in helping others especially in the battle against COVID-19.
“Anything we can do to help other people is great. She’s a champ. Delaney always puts everybody before herself,” Medley said. Medley, herself a nurse, is in the compromised population with autoimmune issues and asthma but has tested negative following her daughter’s diagnosis.
While Delaney is on the mend and ready to go back to school, her efforts to help combat a global pandemic will be part of her senior year — a senior year unlike any other.