Indiana native Patrick Brown splits his time between Fort Wayne and working in New York City as an education consultant for international families and schools. He loves being from a large family with four brothers, two sisters, his father a cardiologist, and mother a state senator, and the family dog, Corby. He is also a type O positive Red Cross blood donor.
Patrick was in New York in mid-March as businesses began to close due to the pandemic, which prompted him to return to Indiana. Shortly after, he became ill with COVID-19. After several weeks in self-quarantine, and with the support of family and friends reaching out to him, Patrick fully recovered. “I spoke to my friends and family regularly. I felt very fortunate to have so many reach out to me and wish me well,” he said.
That’s when he 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.
He immediately signed up to help. He gave his plasma donation with the Red Cross on May 12. “The process was extremely easy. The staff at the center were attentive, quick and professional,” he said. “They really made it easy and comfortable for me.”
Patrick encourages others who may qualify to become donors, too. “While I was giving my donation, three people thanked me for giving,” he said. “Even though this wasn't going to them, they were incredibly grateful. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, spending a couple of hours in an attempt to help someone struggling with this is time well spent. Get out there, people; the Red Cross has sweet movies and candy, too!”
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.