Woman seen on floor of monoclonal treatment site ‘couldn’t stand at all’

Toma Dean says she was ‘so sick it didn’t even matter’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A photo spreading on social media shows people sick with COVID-19 lying on the floor of the downtown Jacksonville library while waiting for antibody treatment.

Toma Dean, the woman seen in the photo in the yellow dress, contacted News4Jax on Thursday evening, saying she’d been suffering with COVID and pneumonia for two weeks and that she’d been in and out of emergency rooms.

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The Fleming Island resident said when her 16-year-old son took her to the library for treatment Wednesday, she could barely stand.

“I was bad. Very bad shape. Lightheaded. Dizzy. Shortness of breath,” she said. “I couldn’t stand at all.”

Dean said she had just left Baptist hospital, where an emergency room doctor advised her to get the monoclonal antibody treatment. With her son by her side and not a wheelchair in sight, Dean said she first sat, then laid on the floor.

“I was so sick it didn’t even matter,” Dean said. “I just thought I could roll. I just wanted to get to therapy because I thought I’m either going to die -- be hospitalized, die, or I’m going to make it through those doors.”

Dean said the staff at the library was excellent, and they scrambled to get wheelchairs to the library. The treatment itself was quick, and Dean said she felt better already. She said she was not vaccinated for COVID.

“If you have it, I advise you to go get this therapy, go take advantage of the resources out there. Get vaccinated. It may not be the first thing that you want to do, but it’s better than the end result,” Dean said.

Since that photo was posted Wednesday night it’s been shared hundreds of times and it also prompted a change at the treatment center.

Now the city has added wheelchairs, seating and more ways for patients to alert someone if they need help.

Workers at the site say you feel too sick, you need to go to the hospital. The treatment is for people in the early stages of COVID-19.