“All I know is that there is the potential to help people who are much sicker than I was. These patients are fighting for their lives,” Ernst said. “I think it’s important that we all need to help as much as we can. Anything I can do to help, I’ll do.”
And, he added, donating plasma is not a difficult task. “It’s just one quick stick, and now all I’m doing is laying here!” he said. “I’ll continue to donate once a week for the next three weeks.”
Each unit of donated plasma can be separated and transfused to three or four patients who are battling the virus—so Ernst’s donation could have a huge impact. But he isn’t looking for praise.
"I am thankful that I recovered and my family is healthy," he said. "Anything I can do to help anyone that is struggling with the disease, I am more than happy to help."
Alagha agrees — and while he knows that the convalescent plasma treatment is experimental, he still believes that donating his plasma is his duty. “I just want to help people,” he says. “We know there’s a chance that this could work — and if the patient has no other choice, why not? There’s nothing to lose but just an hour of our time.”
“It’s important that we can do something for our community, he finishes. “It’s not about being nervous, but about us sharing responsibility and doing something to help. It’s so easy. I hope that people seeing me do this makes them feel better.”
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