Rep. Shevrin Jones will take part in a plasma drive Friday to help COVID-19 patients just over a month after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Jones announced he had tested positive on July 1. He was cleared of the virus a little more than two weeks later.
Plasma donations are valuable due to antibodies built up by those infected with the virus. Doctors hope transferring plasma from recovered coronavirus patients — which contains the antibodies — into those still reeling from the virus can help the infected recover.
Jones’ parents, who also contracted and recovered from COVID-19, will also join the lawmaker in donating their plasma Friday. The family will appear at a plasma drive hosted by the COVID-19 testing company CDR Maguire and OneBlood, a nonprofit donation service.
The drive will take place Friday, Aug. 7 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Koinonia Worship Center & Village, located at 4900 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd. Donors must be 16 or older and bring ID. Those under 16 must have permission from their parents to donate.
Carlos Duart, president of CDR Maguire, also tested positive for the virus and received a plasma donation while undergoing treatment.
“Without the convalescent plasma transfusion that I received in the ICU, I don’t think I would be here today,” Duart said. “This is me paying it forward.”
Added Tina Vidal-Duart, Carlos’ wife and executive VP at CDR Maguire, “I’ve seen, firsthand, the destruction this virus is capable of and my husband, myself, and our company are going to do everything in our power to help as many people as possible.”
The event comes as the Florida Hospital Association and the Florida Medical Association are recommending recovered patients donate their plasma to help assist those still struggling with the virus.
“With the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state this summer, hospitals are reporting a 500% increase in the need for convalescent plasma,” said Crystal Stickle, interim president of the Florida Hospital Association.
“We are asking anyone who meets the donation criteria to help their fellow citizens by donating plasma.”
Tim Stapleton, chief executive officer of the Florida Medical Association, echoed those remarks.
“COVID-19 remains an active threat, and without a vaccine or a cure, the medical community is relying on several investigational treatments to help reduce the illness’ severity and ultimately, reduce the number of fatalities,” Stapleton said.
“The public has a tremendous opportunity to help in the fight against COVID-19 by donating plasma if they are eligible.”