As the rush to find a vaccine for COVID-19 continues, many people are still suffering, some even dying from the virus.
Update June 11, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 59,496; Death toll now at 5,738
Our very own Evrod Cassimy was diagnosed and beat the virus, and he used his experience to give back in a big way.
After suffering for two weeks straight in excruciating pain from coronavirus, Cassimy recovered. He wanted to do something to give back and hopefully save a life. He heard he could donate his plasma and the antibodies could be used to help others. He signed up right away and documented his experience.
As advised, Cassimy started the morning out with a big breakfast, Cinnamon Toast Crunch naturally. He then made his way to the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center for 8:40 a.m. sharp.
"Here we go!" said Cassimy.
This would be Cassimy’s first time ever donating blood. It’s safe to say he was slightly nervous, and also a little apprehensive.
"I'm not really sure what to expect. Kind of talked to a few people about it and they let me know all of what should happen and how things are gonna go,” he said. “It's gonna take about an hour or just over that and yeah that's a long time to have a needle in your arm. That's what I'm concerned about but I am more so happy to know that this is going to help other people that are either battling corona or as they're working to study it."
Once Cassimy walked inside and filled out a brief questionnaire with some rather personal but necessary questions he was directed to a chair where he would spend the next 40-plus minutes. The staff at the American Red Cross made him comfortable, reclined his chair and provided a heated blanket. He passed the time with what else but scrolling through TikTok and Instagram. And the nosy journalist in him kept asking questions.
"Okay what is that?” he asked.
“So the clear yellow is your plasma and that's what we're going to be collecting and by the time you're done you're going to fill up this whole bag here so you're going to have an entire bag of this clear yellow fluid here,” answered one of the American Red Cross staffers.
“And then you spin all of it back into my--?” asked Cassimy.
“Yup! All these red cells you'll get back. We're not gonna keep those and we'll give you a bit of saline to replenish the fluid loss."
And after finally filling that bag, Cassimy was finished and could see what his plasma looked like with the coronavirus antibodies. Once they removed the needle, the best park -- snacks! He was advised to sit an enjoy as the woozy and almost hangover-like feeling subsided.
“Okay! So I just got done with my plasma donation and -- it was interesting,” he said. “It was very interesting. I definitely feel different. Not in a good or a bad way but just different. Overall, like I said it was a good experience mostly knowing that you’re helping somebody else. That is the saving grace in all of it. It’s a minor inconvenience to help others recover from COVID-19 or at the very least save a life. You’re eligible to donate your plasma every month and based on me having coronavirus and recovering, the American Red Cross has already called me about making additional donations.”
According to the American Red Cross, people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. That plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
If you’ve recovered and want to know if you qualify to donate, just visit this website.