LAKELAND, Fla. -- A Lakeland woman serving as a missionary in Brussels, Belgium is hospitalized there with serious complications from the coronavirus. But her husband is hoping a combination of drugs will help her pull through. 

  • Belgium doctors test combo of drugs on Lakeland woman with COVID-19
  • Phyllis Benigas was serving as a missionary when she was hospitalized
  • Husband hopes drugs will help her pull through
  • Latest coronavirus news

Phyllis Benigas started feeling sick about two weeks ago and then was hospitalized on March 20. Two days later doctors confirmed she had coronavirus. 

Her husband Tom has not been allowed in the hospital.

“I went home and I haven’t seen her since. One of the hardest things about this whole thing is not being able to see her or be with her,” he said. 

Tom has updated his Facebook page several times about Phyllis’s deteriorating condition. Doctors put her on a ventilator because her lungs were not getting enough oxygen into her blood.

Tom started looking into the combination of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquin, which is known by the brand name of Plaquenil and the antibiotic Azithromycin. The results of a small French study have led many doctors to start giving the combination to those suffering from COVID-19.

“And we are close to France being in Belgium and the doctors here are seemingly pretty high on it,” said Benigas. 

Doctors started giving Phyllis the drugs on Tuesday and Tom said she seems to be responding well.

“This application for our purpose is proving to be positive so we are really encouraged and hopeful. I believe it could touch everyone,” he said. ​