Hilliard resident Tammy Hughes has been a nurse for 24 years. She has two children who graduated from The Ohio State University, and she and her husband of 30 years, Steve, enjoy playing golf, traveling and white water rafting together. She is also an A positive blood donor, giving at annual blood drives at her work.
In mid-March, Tammy became ill with what she believed was a sinus infection, and was eventually diagnosed with COVID-19. Tammy was in the first 25 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Franklin County. After several weeks in self-quarantine, she fully recovered. That’s when she became aware of a new initiative through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help treat critically ill COVID-19 patients with plasma transfusions form donors who are fully recovered from the virus. She immediately signed up to help.
“Why not make something good come from your COVID diagnosis?” Tammy said. After registering to be a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor, just a few days later she was able to give her donation with the American Red Cross on April 13. “The process was quick and everyone was very nice and helpful through it all,” she said.
Tammy encourages others who may qualify to become donors, too. “Please donate. It can help treat others who are not able to fight the virus on their own. The more donations, the better the outcomes, the quicker we can end this virus.”
In coordination with the FDA, the Red Cross is seeking people who are fully recovered from the new coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease. To participate, individuals must meet all regular blood donation requirements as well as others. To learn more and complete a donor request form, please visit www.RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.