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Recovered COVID-19 patients donating plasma in hopes of helping critically ill

While it's unknown if the treatment will work, doctors are hopeful, and people who have recovered are eager to donate.

AURORA, Colo. — There are small ways everyone can help, and Lin Szydlo began by making masks for people who work at the cat shelter where she volunteers. 

"I'm doing crafty things," said the 69-year-old Aurora woman. 

But she said she knows there's something else she can do, something that not everyone can. 

"I recovered, and now maybe I can help somebody else recover too," said Szydlo.

She said she began coughing and feeling congested on March 13, and her test results came back positive for COVID-19 on March 23. 

“It was pretty miserable," said Szydlo. "This was called a mild version, and I would not wish it on anyone." 

Now that she hasn't shown any symptoms of the disease in 14 days, she said she wants to donate her plasma to the Blood Donor Center at Children's Hospital Colorado. The convalescent plasma would go to someone who is critically ill in hopes that the antibodies can give someone else's immune system a boost.

“Not very many people have the great opportunity in life to help someone else live to continue their life," said Szydlo. "And it would just be a humbling honor to be able to do that." 

It's still unknown if this treatment will work in COVID-19 patients, but doctors are hopeful. 

Since the patients at Children’s don’t need this treatment, the hospital is giving the plasma to UCHealth and to hospitals around the state. UCHealth has already given two patients a transfusion of plasma from donors who recovered from COVID-19. 

RELATED: Colorado hospitals looking for plasma donors to fight COVID-19

On Easter Sunday, 11 people who recovered from COVID-19 donated their plasma at Children's Blood Donor Center. 

In order to qualify for a donation, patients must have previously received a positive test result, have not shown symptoms in 14 days, and take another test to show they are no longer shedding the virus.

Credit: Children's Hospital Colorado
Eleven people who recovered from COVID-19 donated plasma to the Blood Donor Center at Children's Hospital Colorado on Easter Sunday.


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