Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley stunned as Covid-struck nurse says Viagra ‘saved her life’ amid coma

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Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley were blown away by a woman whose ‘life was saved’ by the use of erectile dysfunction drug Viagra as she battled Covid. 

Monica Almeida fell seriously ill with the virus and spent 28 days in a coma fighting for her life. 

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However, the nurse was administered Viagra having agreed to take part in the experimental treatment. Doctors said they would switch off Almeida’s ventilator in three days if her condition deteriorated but incredibly, her health improved and she is now recovering at home. 

Speaking to Good Morning Britain hosts Susanna and Richard, Almeida highlighted that Viagra was originally developed for heart patients because it expands the blood vessels. 

Sharing her ordeal, Almeida explained: ‘When I was intubated. I signed up for a study to allow my medical team to give me whatever it takes to get me better.

‘It was actually made for cardiac issues. What we use it for in this day and age – erectile dysfunction – that’s a secondary effect.’ 

Almeida continued: ‘In my case. I was told I had 72 hours to turn a corner or my ventilator would be turned off. Within 48 hours my oxygen requirements had lowered to less than 50%. 

Susanna and Richard were shocked by the nurse’s ordeal (Picture: Rex Features)

‘My kidneys. My heart. All my other organs coped quite well. So when we say Viagra saved me. We have to have in the context what the medication was actually made for.’ 

She continued: ‘I was put in a coma because I was on 90% oxygen and I wasn’t getting enough oxygen absorbed into my bloodstream. 

‘The decision was made to intubate me. It’s very frightening in intensive care when you know you’re going to be out for three weeks. 

‘When they say that, you know it’s serious.’ 

Doctors said they were three days away from turning off Monica Almeida’s ventilator when the Viagra brought her back (Picture: ITV)

Richard then lightened the mood by revealing he had planned to joke that it was an ‘uplifting story’ but decided not to use the pun. 

As they laughed, Susanna noted: ‘There’s a sort of schoolboy humour about it, isn’t it Monica, have you had a joke with the medical staff about the use of Viagra?’ 

Almeida revealed: ‘Absolutely, when they told me I thought they were having a giggle with me. I said they must mean something very powerful, they said, “no, Monica – very high doses of Viagra. That’s what saved you”.’ 

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Dr Hilary Jones explained the positive effects of using Viagra on Covid patients, saying: ‘The trouble with Covid is it creates profusion issues so that the diseased lung has too much blood in it and not enough oxygen. And the opposite is true in a healthy lung.

‘By taking sildenafil [Viagra], you open the blood vessels to get better profusion into the lungs.’ 

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.

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