KEY POINTS

  • A young New Jersey man has been in a coma after a lab lost his COVID-19 test results
  • A second test revealed that he is positive for coronavirus
  • The delay set back his access to experimental coronavirus drugs

A man from New Jersey has been on a medically-induced coma for days after a laboratory lost his COVID-19 test showing that he was positive. He was considered healthy and has no underlying conditions. However, he is, now, fighting for his life.

According to the family of Jack Allard, 25, he first fell ill on Mar. 13 after he got back from his work at Bank of America in Manhattan. He experienced symptoms such as back pain, high fever, and vomiting. His health, then, continued to deteriorate until he had to be placed on a ventilator in the intensive care unit where he was placed in a medically-induced coma after being tested for COVID-19.

However, the laboratory lost the test results and Allard had to be re-swabbed for a second test, which showed that he was actually positive for the virus. Because of this, his access to special experimental drugs was delayed by at least five days. This is because a person has to be tested and confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 before they will gain access to experimental drugs.

The family sought the help of U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who made an effort to get Allard in an antiviral drug called Remdesivir.

"Somehow they lost his test and it cost all those days," Gottheimer said. "Inexcusable."

Allard has since been airlifted to the University of Pennsylvania for the Remdesivir clinical trial.

"My son is healthy, no pre-existing conditions and he's 25 - this virus is really dangerous and now he is very, very sick," Jack Allard's mother, Genny Allard said, also noting that her son never smoked or vaped and was also an athlete.

So far, the United States is still behind other countries in terms of testing for COVID-19. Many people still cannot get tested for various reasons such as a lack of symptoms even if they were in close contact with a positive case or even if the patient is exhibiting symptoms because the patient has not been out of the country recently.

As of Mar. 26, the U.S. has reportedly tested more than 400,000 people for COVID-19 and over 60,000 of whom tested positive. 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Test Kit A medical staff displays a test kit to detect the novel coronavirus at a COVID-19 screening-drive, at the Amsterdam UMC in Amsterdam The Netherlands, on March 24, 2020. Photo: ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images