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Orlando COVID-19 patient out of hospital after receiving plasma donation from Stuart resident

James Crocker (left) and Kevin Rathel
Posted at 4:43 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 20:19:56-04

STUART, Fla. — A Central Florida man, who was battling the coronavirus and received a plasma donation from a Stuart resident, is now back at home.

James Crocker of Stuart and Kevin Rathel of Orlando were strangers just a week ago, and are now meeting for the first time.

Doctors and nurses cheered Monday night when Rathel was wheeled out of Orlando Regional Medical Center.

The good vibes continued as the couple returned home as neighbors held signs and offered words of encouragement.

On April 4, Rathel was put in a medically-induced coma.

Crocker had recovered from his own battle with COVID-19.

Four days later, Crocker, who shared a mutual friend with Rathel, donated his convalescent plasma, which help patients fighting COVID-19.

The FDA recently approved the plasma donation procedure only for emergency use on a case-by-case basis.