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Convalescent Plasma Program - Rachel’s Story

  • Category: Patient Story
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Rachel M.

In early April, Infirmary Health began a convalescent plasma program to treat our most critical COVID-19 patients. Rachel, a nurse at Mobile Infirmary, was one of the patients to receive the plasma treatment. Since receiving the treatment, Rachel has recovered and is back to caring for patients. Read Rachel's story below and learn why this program means so much to her and her family.

The first day I began to feel bad, my only symptom was a fever of 99.0. That increased throughout the night to 101.0 along with body aches and chills. The extreme weakness, fatigue, and nausea hit me with my fever rising to 101.9. The day I was admitted to the hospital, my temperature reached 102.2. In the emergency room, my O2 saturation was noted to be 84%. I realized that the reason I felt so bad getting out of bed was due to severe shortness of breath. I had never been short of breath like this and did not realize that is how it felt.

On my first night in the hospital my temperature reached 102.9, and my O2 saturation declined to 81% on 6 liters of oxygen. I was placed on a non-rebreather mask and my O2 saturation reached only around 89-90%. I was moved to another room for closer observation the next day. I was placed on hi-flow oxygen. This was adjusted throughout the night and day. The registered nurse came in and discussed receiving plasma. She reviewed all the benefits that could help with my recovery. I signed the consent and received the plasma that night.

The next day, I began to feel a little better. My nausea began to disappear. My fever never returned. But mainly, I FELT better than I had in weeks. Each day thereafter, I improved. I was able to eat a little. I was able to get out of bed. The hi-flow oxygen was being weaned down. With this continued improvement, I was discharged home a week later.

I believe that receiving the plasma helped save my life. I have never been so sick and was scared I would never see my family again. I will give plasma as well to help save lives. The COVID-19 virus is deadly, and these patients need every bit of help they can receive. Plasma is one of the ways that can help improve symptoms and aid in a speedy recovery.