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Louisiana lawyer, 45, put on ventilator after contracting coronavirus

by Otilia Griffith (2020-03-29)

A 45-year-old Louisiana attorney has been hospitalized, sedated and put on a ventilator after contracting the potentially deadly novel coronavirus, which had been misdiagnosed as the flu. 

Heaven Frilot tells that her typically healthy husband, Mark, had battled what he thought was seasonal flu for several days before she found him in a state of fever-induced delirium talking to himself while seated on the edge of a bathtub. 

A trip to the emergency room last Thursday revealed that the construction lawyer from Kenner had COVID-19 and double pneumonia. 

Mark Frilot, 45, a Kenner, Louisiana, lawyer, contracted the novel coronavirus more than a week ago. He is now sedated and breathing with the aid of a ventilator 

His wife on Saturday posted a message on Facebook warning others of the dangers of COVID-19 and urging people to take it seriously 

As of Monday afternoon, there were 4,134 confirmed cases of the illness nationwide, including 114 in Louisiana

Heaven, who has been in self-quarantine along with her son since last week, says she has decided to open up about Mark's health crisis as a warning to others, especially younger people who may think they face a relatively low risk of contracting the illness. 

Heaven said Mark first detected that his temperature was slightly elevated on March 6; he sought help at an urgent care center two days later 

The US Centers for Disease Controls says older people and people with serious pre-existing medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting 'very sick' from the coronavirus, but Heaven Frilot argues whether that is a broken bone it could happen to anyone.

'I have been seeing a lot of posts about people taking this virus lightly and joking about it,' she wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday. 'Please be extremely cautious and smart during this time. This virus has been in our community a while now without us knowing.'  

In her interview with, Heaven explained that her husband first noticed that his temperature was slightly elevated on March 6, but was not alarmed. That was three days before state officials announced Louisiana's first confirmed case of COVID-19. 

Mark continued running a fever and stayed in bed all day. On March 8, he went to an urgent care center, where according to his wife, doctors diagnosed him with the flu and prescribed Tamiflu, a steroid and a medicated cough syrup. 

But despite the treatment, which Mark supplemented with Tylenol and Advil to break his nightly fever, his condition deteriorated farther, Heaven recounted. 

When he alerted his doctor of the situation, Heaven said he was told that it was not uncommon and instructed to keep taking the medications. 

Heaven told the paper that last Wednesday, she found her husband talking to himself in the bathroom and took him to the East Jefferson General Hospital, where a flu test came back negative. 





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Five days after he was diagnosed with the flu, Mark arrived at East Jefferson General Hospital's ER, where he tested positive for COVID-19

Heaven said she has decided to speak out after seeing photos of revelers congregating in the French Quarter (pictured on Sunday) 

Heaven then had the hospital contact the urgent care center where Mark had initially sought help and request his paperwork. To her shock and dismay, the woman said she discovered that Mark had tested negative for the flu there too. 

An infectious disease doctor then spoke to the Frilots and approved one of the coveted COVID-19 tests for Mark, which came back positive. 

'He is fully sedated and paralyzed and intubated no longer breathing on his own,' Heaven wrote on Face