JUPITER, Fla. — A Jupiter man who battled COVID-19 in mid-March feels like he has come full circle.
On Friday morning, Mike Mangus was able to donate convalescent plasma that will go to two to three people battling coronavirus in the hospital.
During the 45-minute process at a Pompano Beach location, where OneBlood’s bus is collecting plasma, Mangus said he kept thinking about patients in the intensive care unit.
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“This isn’t a situation that they are guaranteed to survive -- but what they are guaranteed with this donation is hope,” said Mangus.
He described his battle with the virus as one he thought he wasn’t going to survive.
Mangus said one of the nights in the hospital in March he woke up gasping for air and thought he wasn’t going to make it. Now, he has inside him the antibodies that can help someone else’s immune system fight off the virus.
“It is amazing that you can turn around and provide again hopefully a solution after going through something so crazy and a close to death experience, at least in my situation,” added Mangus.
OneBlood says it is screening, testing, processing and delivering plasma to hospitals anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after the donation is collected.
The whole blood or plasma has to be sent to a lab in Orlando where it is processed, prepared and manufactured into the product needed to complete the transfusion for a recipient.
OneBlood’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations says staff is working around the clock to get donations ready for transfusions.
“You’re looking at over a dozen people per donation that are involved to be able to get these out the door as quickly as possible, and that is exactly what we are doing,” said Susan Forbes, VP of Corporate Communications, OneBlood.
Forbes says it is a new regulated process with protocols and requirements established by the FDA. Right now, only certain locations have staff trained to conduct the collections of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
“We are adding additional locations as we go forward. So again, this is something that was just brought up in less than two weeks,” added Forbes.
Mangus said the closest center for him to donate was in Pompano Beach. He says he’s already signed up to donate plasma again when he is eligible to in 30 days.