‘Glimmer of hope’: Man goes from COVID-19 patient to plasma donor

A California man who was the first to test positive for coronavirus by the county public health department is now offering hope by donating his blood as a form of treatment.Paul Peterson, 75, is back in the news again. He first made headlines in February when he and his wife Alice were on board the Grand Princess Cruise Ship. Paul started developing symptoms of the coronavirus on Feb. 24 and tested positive. “So, far it’s been easy,” Paul said while a nurse drew his blood Thursday. “I’m just sitting here relaxing.” “He wants to donate plasma to help save other people’s lives,” his wife, Alice, said. Now that Paul’s recovered, he’s helping others battling the virus by offering up his plasma, rich with the antibodies that fought off the coronavirus. “This is an emergency investigational new treatment that the FDA has just put into play, and we’re very lucky to be doing this in Sacramento,” said Drew Fowler, Marketing & Communications Manager at Vitalant.The couple was at the Vitalant lab in Sacramento Thursday where Paul made his plasma donation. Dr. Neal Kaushal, a double-board certified internal medicine and gastroenterology physician, said the procedure is known as convalescent plasma transfusion, and it is on the cutting edge of treatment for the virus. “It takes a person’s plasma who has recovered from the coronavirus and then that plasma is isolated and purified and then reintroduced into a patient who has an active illness,” Kaushal said. The hope is that whatever helped the first person recover will also help the new patient now fighting the virus. “It gives us a glimmer of hope in actually finding something that can deal with the virus or defeat it or kill it, or somehow weaken the virus,” Kaushal said. For Paul, it’s another first. He is now the first person in Sacramento to offer up his plasma to help others. Paul had been on 141 cruises, but none compares to the last one that changed his life forever. Now, he’s hoping he can help make a positive change in the lives of others fighting COVID-19. “Good luck to everybody, and take care of yourselves,” Paul said.

A California man who was the first to test positive for coronavirus by the county public health department is now offering hope by donating his blood as a form of treatment.

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Paul Peterson, 75, is back in the news again. He first made headlines in February when he and his wife Alice were on board the Grand Princess Cruise Ship. Paul started developing symptoms of the coronavirus on Feb. 24 and tested positive.

“So, far it’s been easy,” Paul said while a nurse drew his blood Thursday. “I’m just sitting here relaxing.”

“He wants to donate plasma to help save other people’s lives,” his wife, Alice, said.

Now that Paul’s recovered, he’s helping others battling the virus by offering up his plasma, rich with the antibodies that fought off the coronavirus.

“This is an emergency investigational new treatment that the FDA has just put into play, and we’re very lucky to be doing this in Sacramento,” said Drew Fowler, Marketing & Communications Manager at Vitalant.

The couple was at the Vitalant lab in Sacramento Thursday where Paul made his plasma donation.

Dr. Neal Kaushal, a double-board certified internal medicine and gastroenterology physician, said the procedure is known as convalescent plasma transfusion, and it is on the cutting edge of treatment for the virus.

“It takes a person’s plasma who has recovered from the coronavirus and then that plasma is isolated and purified and then reintroduced into a patient who has an active illness,” Kaushal said.

The hope is that whatever helped the first person recover will also help the new patient now fighting the virus.

“It gives us a glimmer of hope in actually finding something that can deal with the virus or defeat it or kill it, or somehow weaken the virus,” Kaushal said.

For Paul, it’s another first. He is now the first person in Sacramento to offer up his plasma to help others. Paul had been on 141 cruises, but none compares to the last one that changed his life forever.

Now, he’s hoping he can help make a positive change in the lives of others fighting COVID-19.

“Good luck to everybody, and take care of yourselves,” Paul said.