Recovered COVID-19 patients asking other survivors to donate plasma

Posted at 11:58 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 02:58:34-04

While the world waits for a vaccine for COVID-19, some patients across the U.S. are seeing positive results from plasma therapy.

The therapy is a transfusion that uses the plasma of people who have recovered from the disease.

Arroyo Grande resident Helen Jacobsen says having coronavirus was one of the hardest things she's gone through.

"You're totally miserable -- this thing is a horrid, horrid disease. I mean, for me, I was shaking; I could hardly walk; I had the chills," Jacobsen said.

Now that Jacobsen's recovered, she's looking to help those that are still battling the disease.

On Tuesday, she donated plasma for the first time.

"The bottom line is don't be afraid. You're one of the lucky ones if you've survived it and you're well. So help others out, we need to help others," Jacobsen said.

Louis Meza's wife Melissa received COVID-19 plasma therapy last week.

She's been fighting for her life in the hospital for nearly a month.

"They found the plasma treatment for her and they matched it up with a gentleman out of Ventura. [Healthcare workers] did it on Friday and she started getting a little bit better," Meza said.

While she showed improvement, she still depends on advanced life support machines.

"She's learning how to move her hands; she barely waved to me the other day for the first time in 25 days. It's really rough to see her what she's in; she has a feeding tube, still has a trach that's giving her oxygen; she has IV's. Everything is still hooked up to her," Meza said.

Meza says he'd like to see more people who have tested positive for COVID-19 donate plasma, and as a recovered COVID-19 patient himself, he plans to do so soon.

"As soon as I'm clear, I'm gonna go donate. If I can save three-to-five people's lives I'm all in," Meza said.

The plasma donation process takes about two hours and the FDA allows two donations per week.

To donate to the Meza family's GoFundMe, click here.