ODESSA, Texas — The inhaled steroid Budesonide is being hailed by one West Texas doctor, Richard Bartlett, as the 'silver bullet' for COVID-19.
Midland Memorial Hospital seems to disagree with him, telling us Tuesday that there is no such thing a 'silver bullet' for the virus.
But Bartlett’s patients credit the treatment for saving their life. He has treated well over a dozen patients and has had a 100% success rate.
Even with patients who have preexisting conditions.
“I’m in my 60s, I’m living with two different types of non-hodgkin's lymphoma," Kathy Lollar, Dr. Bartlett's patient and COVID-19 survivor, said. "In fact I’m on daily chemo.”
Lollar is one of many at-risk patients Bartlett has treated.
“I’m 48-years-old, I’m diabetic and I’m a bit overweight," Eric Rodriguez, another one of Dr Bartlett's patients and also a COVID-19 survivor, said.
When they were diagnosed with the virus, they both thought the worst-case scenario.
“I was scared, fearful, desperate," Rodriguez said. "I starting thinking about my children without a father.”
Rodriguez lost his 31-year-old brother, who had no preexisting conditions, to the virus in June. For that reason, Rodriguez sought a different treatment and reached out to Dr. Bartlett for help.
He started taking Budesonide twice a day.
“The difference? It’s life and death right now,” Rodriguez said.
As for Lollar, she believes it would have been a different outcome if it were not for Dr. Bartlett.
“I would have been at the hospital on a ventilator," she said. "Trying the Budesonide I could tell improvement. It wasn't a miracle but I was improving."
Dr. Bartlett tells us budesonide works well if COVID is diagnosed early like it was for Lollar and Rodriguez.
He also tells us he is not taking any more patients. He suggests people ask their own physician to see if Budesonide can work for them.