FOX 26 gets unprecedented access to Texas' 1st nursing home to treat COVID-19 with Hydroxychloroquine

"This is an experience of a lifetime," said Dr. Robin Armstrong. "This is something we will probably never experience again."

Dr. Armstrong and others at the Resort at Texas City Nursing home knew time wasn't on their side.

"Two of our residents had symptoms and that's when we tested everybody," said nursing home Executive Director Jan Piveral.

56 residents and 33 staff members were COVID-19 positive.

RELATED: Residents, employees of Texas City senior living facility test positive for coronavirus

"Our Goal was to make sure we could shelter them in place so we don't spread it to other people," Armstrong said. "Then also at the same time treat them so they would get better."

Armstrong says he knew residents who ended up in the hospital had a higher mortality rate.

"Our goal was to keep them here and treat them with the medications we had available," he said.

When Armstrong began administering Hydroxychloroquine to it was controversial but appeared promising.

MORE: COVID-19 patients from Texas City testing hydroxychloroquine treatment

"If we didn't make the decision quickly then we could potentially lose 15 to 20% of the residents which was not an option," said the Doctor.

Armstrong's approach was to begin administering Hydroxychloroquine a Zpac and Zinc just as soon as a resident first started showing symptoms.

The patients were being monitored daily.

"We did EKGs on each of these patients to make sure they didn't have the cardiac side effects that everyone talks about," Armstrong said. "None of our patients did."

Armstrong doesn't call the Hydroxychloroquine a cure and is aware of all the recent reports that say the drug shouldn't be used to treat COVID-19.

But he points out only one of the nursing homes COVID-19 patients has died.

"Everyone who got on treatment who started on treatment is actually doing really well," he said.

EXCLUSIVE: Texas City nursing home resident taking experimental COVID-19 treatment speaks

"I'm so glad that I've got the paper that I'm not positive anymore," said Helen Parrish one of the residents who took the Hydroxychloroquine.

When COVID-19 was creating havoc at the nursing homeowner John Griffin says only two people quit.

"99 percent of the staff stayed we had 34 employees that contracted Coronavirus all lived and 98% are back at work right now," Griffin said.

Whether it was God's will or Hydroxychloroquine Dr. Armstrong can't say exactly what it was that kept so many residents alive through this pandemic.

He says all he know is he had to make a decision fast and he has no regrets.

"It was a situation set up to end very badly," Armstrong said. "I thought we didn't have any other options."

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