By Jill Fox
Severely ill COVID-19 patients may benefit from the antibodies from blood plasma donations. The catch is the only people who can donate are those who have already had the coronavirus and recovered.
Craig Hirsh, who grew up in Coral Springs, recently recovered from the coronavirus and donated his “liquid gold” three times. He took to social media to plead with other local survivors to donate theirs.
“He feels like it’s the duty of an individual as a human who could save lives,” said his wife, Samantha, who added she would forever be grateful that he was one of the lucky ones.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the convalescent plasma is the “liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection.”
The disease-fighting antibodies have already helped patients, including a South Florida doctor, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 back in March.
Due to an extreme shortage of this “liquid gold,” Dr. Vladimir Laroche’s brother found him a plasma donor through social media.
After the successful plasma donation, which potentially resulted in Dr. Laroche’s recovery, the family was so grateful, they set-up the non-profit Heal As One, to help other COVID-19 patients find matching donors.
Craig and Samantha Hirsh are huge advocates of Heal as One because they donate plasma directly to those in need.
“You know exactly who it’s going to, and it doesn’t sit anywhere,” said Samantha.
According to a representative from OneBlood, the donation center has seen a 500 percent increase in hospital requests for convalescent plasma.
Samantha said, “We are in the middle of a pandemic, and we don’t have a vaccine. Take an hour out of your life and save three or four lives.”
Those interested in donating plasma must have verification of a positive COVID-19 test, be symptom-free for 14 days, and have documentation of a negative test after recovery. Plasma can be given every 28 days, and candidates can go to oneblood.org to schedule a donation.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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