Tulsa Man Survives COVID-19 Due To Plasma Treatment, OBI Says Plasma In Demand

Tuesday, July 14th 2020, 6:20 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

TULSA, Okla. -

Keith Townsley recovered from COVID-19 nearly 3 months ago. The Jenks man said he nearly died after contracting the virus back in March.

He said a big reason he's alive today is because of a treatment becoming popular around the country.

"At the hospital I was in, I was the first one there in April to get this plasma," said Townsley.

Townsley said he was given a convalescent plasma transfusion while in the ICU. It's where doctors collect plasma from someone who's recovered from the virus and has antibodies and is then given to severely sick patients.

Townsley said the results for him were nearly immediate.

"It wasn't long after that, I was out of the ICU, and to step down and a couple of days later, I got to go home," said Townsley.

Townsley said he's nearly recovered, but still hasn't fully gotten his stamina back. Now, he's looking to be a plasma donor himself, which is something doctors at the Oklahoma Blood Institute said are desperately needed.

"We've had a seven-times increase in the demand for this,” said Dr. John Armitage. “Which speaks to its value from the clinicians’ point of view, from the doctors’ point of view."

Dr. Armitage said right now, they have about a 2-day supply and their reserves are gone from earlier in the pandemic. He's encouraging anybody who has recovered from COVID-19 and is eligible to donate plasma.

"Somebody needs your help, you've got that magic in you, share that, help someone else get better," said Armitage.