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Coronavirus: Ryan talks to recovered COVID-19 patient who is donating plasma to help save other victims

coronavirus 15/04/2020

Tiffany Pinckney, New Yorker, is a Covid-19 recovered patient who had donated her blood to Mt Sinai hospital to find a cure/treatment.

In early March, Pinckney developed symptons associated with coronavirus - including a fever and chills, shortness of breath, and immense chest pain.

Pinckney made a full recovery from COVID-19, and is now trying to help doctors to save more lives from the deadly disease.

Doctors hope that plasma from her blood, which contains the neutralising antibody that saved her from COVID-19, may be used to treat patients sick with the virus, by reducing the severity of the illness.

She joins Ryan Bridge on Magic Drive to explain her journey.

Ryan started off asking about the process Pinckney went through after she was diagnosed with COVID19.

"Once I tested positive, I had to quarantine for 18 days before they called me back in. They took blood from me to make sure the virus is not living in the blood. The very next day I received a call from the medical facility and they said "we have amazing news, you no longer have COVID-19 but you're body is producing antibodies at a rapid pace."

She continues. "They asked would I be willing to go to a blood center to withdraw blood, so they can look at [the blood] and see what it's doing, cause it could potentially help hundreds of thousands of people. I agreed and went in."

"They took 600ml of blood, and out of the blood what they were taking was plasma."

I was one of the first people who recovered but I producing antibodies rapidly.

Ryan asks why was her body over-producing antibodies, did they tell her? "No, they didn't indicate why. It seems as if they were trying to find out why as well."

"When they took the blood/plasma, what they wanted to see was if the plasma would in fact help someone else. The bigger question is, will this help someone else who is on a respirator who isn't doing well at all?"

"They took the plasma. They got back to me and said yes it has, it has helped someone. That was two and a half weeks ago. They didn't want to give false positives because everybody's body is different and one thing might work today but not tomorrow, but they gave the plasma to someone and wanted to give it a couple weeks see what was going on."

I was made aware it did help one person. Tomorrow I'm going back to give more.

Ryan follows up by confirming that the doctors say it can help reduce the severity of the illness, but not cure it, and asks how does it feel knowing your blood might help people to suffer less?

"It's overwhelming sometimes. I definitely feel like an anomoly. Mt Sinai called me a "needle in a haystack", and we're just hoping this works. It is definitely overwhelming but I am humbled by it to be able to help anyone. 

If anyone can help. I don't see why not.