DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Shawn Joiner is 26 years old, and his COVID story starts off like many others, but his treatment plan is what makes his experience unique.
“About day 4 or 5, I started to, my oxygen started to drop into the mid-’90s and my doctor at the time thought it would be a good idea to contact the mayo clinic and see if we could use some plasma,”, Shawn Joiner said.
Joiner has an illness known as Burton’s Disease, which causes him to have a compromised immune system. The severity of his case caused doctors to consider the experimental plasma treatment.
“One of the options that we have is to take plasma from patients who have already recovered from the virus and using that plasma with their antibodies in it to give to someone else who is currently infected,” said associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics, Justin Hovey of Southeast Health.
Local blood centers such as Lifesouth are testing everyday blood donors for COVID antibodies to donate their plasma to local hospitals.
“If you come back COVID positive we actually call you and ask you to come back in and donate plasma, the plasma of someone that actually has the antibodies goes to patients that are currently fighting COVID and having a hard time to recover,” explained Rebecca Hughes, Lifesouth Community Blood Center Regional Manager
Patients like Shawn Joiner are a testament to plasma donations, and he wants to express his appreciation to his donor.
“I would like to say thank you very much because you don’t know me and you very well could’ve saved my life. I would encourage other people that have gotten better from this to do the same, donate some plasma. I know I have a lot left to do before I go, I got to finish school I want to get married, start a life with my fiance,” Joiner said.
If you’ve had COVID and are now recovered you can help others going through it by donating your plasma for treatment. Find your local blood drive and donation center here https://www.lifesouth.org/