MedWatch Today: Fighting the Coronavirus with convalescent plasma therapy

Med Watch Today

There may not be a vaccine out yet to prevent COVID-19, but there are various treatments to boost people’s ability to fight the illness when they’re hospitalized.

Cammy Johnson and her husband Jerry both contracted the Coronavirus in June. Cammy’s symptoms were so severe, she was admitted to Clovis Community Medical Center. She credits convalescent plasma therapy to helping her get through her 11-day stay as she fought the virus.

When the stay-at-home orders went into effect in March to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Cammy and her family followed it to a tee.

“I think at that time, you don’t kinda believe it will happen to you, but we were trying to be careful,” commented Cammy.

What she thought was just a cough and runny nose quickly turned into something more serious.

She added, “Kinda a fever that came and went, it was a low grade fever so we both called our doctors and we were thinking sinus infection, bronchitis, that kind of thing, so we got on antibiotics, but then as the week progressed I got much worst.”

Eventually Cammy was having a difficult time breathing, and was rushed to Clovis Community.

She added, “Tightness in the chest, I didn’t want to eat, I lost some sense of taste and smell.”

Cammy and Jerry tested positive for the Coronavirus. Jerry had mild symptoms and quarantined at home to recover. Cammy was admitted to the hospital and prepared for a long, hard fight against the vicious effects of the virus.

“They took all my, so many tests, so they would know what procedures I needed, and they explained that all to me. And they did it in succession and then pretty soon I was getting all these treatments. It was quick,” commented Cammy.

One of Cammy’s treatments included convalescent plasma therapy, blood donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 that has antibodies to the virus that causes it. The donated blood is processed to remove blood cells, leaving behind liquid plasma and anitibodies. Cammy received two treatments of convalescent plasma therapy during her 11-day stay.

She said, “I had this healing feeling and it was just amazing to me. I just felt it through my whole system, and I know it sounds probably kinda out there, but I really did feel it.”

Cammy was also treated with Remdesivir, blood thinners, and steroids, but she believes it was convalescent plasma therapy that helped save her life. She also credits the medical staff at Clovis Community for their excellent care in helping her fight the Coronavirus.

“The people around me were so supportive, so even in that busyness of that emergency room they have time for every person. I don’t know how they do that, so that was really heartwarming… I think of them as angels on earth in PPE… They are just wonderful, wonderful people,” ended Cammy.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com