Coronavirus: Tarzana-based doctor discusses challenges of treating COVID-19 patients

TARZANA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's been over two weeks since Cory and Brian Angel returned home to Los Angeles from a ski trip in Val Gardena, Italy.

When they arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, they were immediately tested for COVID-19, tested positive and have been quarantined since.

"They had fever, body aches, they would ski one day, then they would skip the next. Then, they would ski again. By the time they got back to L.A., they had shortness of breath, and difficulty taking a deep breath and fever, in addition to the body aches," said Dr. Sam Fink, who is based in Tarzana.

MORE: Social distancing: What is it, and how it slows spread of coronavirus

Fink is Cory and Brian's personal physician, the family confirmed.

Cory's symptoms put him in the ICU, but he has since recovered and Fink says Cory and Brian should be released from quarantine any day.

The doctor says treating them has been challenging.

"We're dealing with them remotely. I'm using Skype, just how I'm talking to you right now. I'm speaking to them on the phone. As soon as someone comes in the door of my office, we're taking a temperature. It's the most unusual thing I've done in 30 years. It's like the doctor won't see you now," said Fink.

Fink says social isolation is the most important thing we can do and praised the measures taken by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsom.

"Tensions are so high, people are so upset, but we have to respond the opposite way. If you've got an elderly neighbor, do they have groceries? Let's all help each other. This country has been so divided. It may be that the coronavirus can bring us all together," said Fink.

The Los Angeles doctor also told Eyewitness News that out of the 13 people on the ski trip who all caught coronavirus, three of them remain in the ICU, but one is headed home soon and the other two are slowly recovering.
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