As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect millions of Americans, our frontline health care workers have been diligently caring for our patients and providing the latest treatment options. One of these options is convalescent plasma treatment.
People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies for the virus in their blood, and plasma is the part of the blood that carries these antibodies. After being without symptoms for 14 days, a person who has recovered from COVID-19 can donate their blood to a convalescent plasma program. This means their plasma carrying COVID-19 antibodies will be injected into a sick patient to help them fight the virus.
For many patients, this treatment has been a game changer. Take Lisa Joyce for example. She went to the emergency department at Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital on May 1 with a cough. She didn’t think much of it until she was admitted to the intensive care unit that day. There she was tested for and later diagnosed with COVID-19.
Lisa was in a coma for about three weeks and wasn’t showing signs of improvement. The staff at Mary Immaculate Hospital enrolled her in the convalescent plasma program because she met all of the criteria. Right before she was scheduled for a procedure to help her breathe, she received her plasma treatment and began making a miraculous recovery. The first thing Lisa did when she came out of her coma was call her husband, Brad, to tell him she was getting better.
“This treatment saved my life,” Lisa shares. “I definitely plan on donating my own plasma as soon as I can so that I might also be able to help save a life.”
The Bon Secours team that cared for Lisa call her their miracle. When she was well enough to be discharged, they wanted to give her a great sendoff. While Lisa was being wheeled out of the hospital, all of the team members who were involved in her care participated in a “Code Happy” celebration. Nurses, doctors and other care team members lined the halls of the lobby to clap and cheer. As soon as Lisa was outside, she embraced with her husband for the first time in a month.
We are so glad Lisa is on her way to recovery, and that she plans to participate in the convalescent plasma program as a donor to help others.
If you have recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating plasma, learn more about our convalescent plasma program.
Stay updated on what Bon Secours is doing related to COVID-19.