Fit, 35 and Hospitalized With COVID
By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, November 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) – If you’ve recovered from a COVID-19 infection, you can help up to four more COVID-19 patients recover, simply by donating your plasma.
Is it worth it? Just ask Melissa Sullivan.
The 35-year-old COVID-19 survivor and confessed needle-phobe donated her plasma soon after her recovery, and she plans to do so again in two weeks.
“I was very scared when I was sick, but I went out to the other side, so why not pay up front? If I had needed, I wish someone had the courage to do it. You can make an immeasurable difference in someone’s life, ”Sullivan said.
The COVID-19 infection blinded Sullivan, who always took precautions to avoid illness. She is an active and healthy marathon runner who works as a press secretary for the US Environmental Protection Agency. Normally, she trains about five to six times a week and was on track to complete her third Marine Corps marathon this year.
But one day in August, Sullivan said, “I did a 10k run, which was pretty routine for me. After the race, my symptoms got strong and fast. I had shortness of breath, chills and fever. Later, I developed a headache, nausea, dizziness and symptoms of stomach flu. “
The day after her symptoms first appeared, she was in the hospital, where they monitored her oxygen levels and gave her IV fluids.
“It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was probably one of the worst pains I have experienced in my life. I think my age and the fact that I am healthy helped me heal quickly, ”Sullivan said.
Because she recovered relatively soon after her illness, Sullivan said, “I felt I had a duty to give back to others.”
Plasma is a component of the blood that carries antibodies. These anti-infective proteins are made by the immune system in response to a specific infection. Experts hope that administering plasma with COVID-19 antibodies (called convalescent plasma) will strengthen the immune systems of people who are currently battling COVID-19 infections and help them recover.
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