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Westport woman recovering from coronavirus donates plasma to save lives

Coronavirus

WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– A Westport woman who was one of the first in Connecticut to test positive for Covid-19, is now doing something that could save others who have not recovered.

Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist, was recently hooked up to a machine that took 400 ml of plasma out of her blood. Klein had the coronavirus, in fact her whole family tested positive, but that was weeks ago.

“Everybody is great,” Klein said. “None of my four children had any symptoms whatsoever.”

She has gone weeks without symptoms, but her body still has Covid-19 antibodies, so she is now eligible to donate what they call convalescent plasma. The Red Cross is starting to collect it.

Related: UConn Health to use plasma testing for potential coronavirus treatment

“So we can give this convalescent plasma to people who are sick and who don’t have the ability to make their own antibodies, or aren’t making enough,” explained Dr. F. Bernadette West, Northeast Regional Medical Director of the American Red Cross.

It is one of the only treatments that is working for people who are very sick, and Klein wanted to donate as soon as possible.

“There was a 30-year-old in the ICU in Norwalk that I was trying to donate for,” Klein said. “Unfortunately, he passed away before he was able to receive a plasma donation.”

Just like with blood drives, donation centers are taking lots of precautions to stay safe.

“You enter the facility, your temperature is taken,” said Klein. “They want everybody wearing masks, if possible. There is a lengthy registration process.”

Now that the first wave of patients has recovered, they can now help out all those health care heroes looking to save lives.

“We have been very happy to see the outpouring of support in people who have recovered from this illness, who are willing to help us out and help the patients out, more importantly, during this time,” West said.

If you have recovered from Covid-19 and would like to know more about plasma donation, you can go to redcrossblood.org.

They will ask lots of questions, but you have the chance to do what we are all trying to do these days, which is save some lives.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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