In the race to cure covid-19, healthcare workers and researchers discovered a number of helpful tools along the way. While an outright vaccine remains like a year to 18 months out by most estimates, treatments aid recovery. The latest utilizes plasma therapy to treat the worst cases. Now, the first San Antonio patient subjected to plasma therapy makes a remarkable recovery from the depths of the disease.
Jimmie Hayden first arrived at Methodist Hospital | Stone Oak on April 1 suffering from covid-like symptoms. Shortly thereafter, the 47-year-old received a positive diagnosis. Then, only hours into his stay, hospital staff placed him on a ventilator.
They succeeded in stabilizing Hayden, but his body failed to make a recovery. His condition remained poor.
Then, doctors elected to try a new course of treatment after a week without improvement.
They introduced plasma extracted from a recovered covid-19 patient into Hayden’s body. The goal of this treatment is to equip one’s immune system with vital, specialized antibodies that fight off the virus.
For Hayden, the desired result took effect. Hayden coughed his ventilator out a week after receiving the plasma transfusion. He no longer requires its assistance to oxygenate his body.
Doctors monitoring his development noted that he looked “fantastic.”
His wife Ashley and their children have had to sit out the entire process, watching Jimmie from afar. Because of the infectious nature of the disease, hospital protocol prohibits normal visitation. “They are letting him rest now, we probably won’t be able to talk to him until tomorrow,” she said. Hopefully, he returns home soon.
Hayden’s story echoes similar tales of recovery across the country as hospitals begin widespread adoption of plasma therapy.
Those who have recovered from covid-19 contain valuable antibodies that know how to tackle the virus in the body. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center in San Antonio is accepting plasma from eligible patients.