Source: First Coast News


Shapard credits hydroxychloroquine, a drug usually used to treat malaria and lupus, and of course the doctors for his recovery.

A Jacksonville man who survived COVID-19 is now donating his plasma with antibodies to try to help current patients. Author: Kailey TracyPublished: 05/02/20

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — One month ago, Tommy Shapard was in a COVID-19 ICU at Baptist South Medical Center sending goodbye videos to his family thinking he was going to die from COVID-19. Wednesday, he donated his plasma with antibodies to help current COVID-19 patients fight the virus.

“It feels good to get back into a normal routine, as this day in age goes right now,” he said.Loading …

Shapard credits Hydroxychloroquine, a drug usually used to treat Lupus and Malaria, and of course the doctors at Baptist South, for his recovery. He said now he wants to pay it forward.

“I never had any fear. I never had any doubt that I wanted to [donate plasma],” Shapard said. “I just hoped that there wasn’t anything from a medical standpoint that prevented me from donating my plasma.”

The staff at LifeSouth Blood Center asked him several questions about his diagnosis and made sure it was 28 days since his last symptoms.

“The needle hurt a little bit, yes, but the actual process did not,” Shapard said. “I got a couple of chocolate chip cookies, so that was great. And I was able to watch it all occur and then actually see the bags of plasma — which was just fascinating to me that we could just do that process is incredible that we’re able to do that.”

RELATED: Jacksonville man sends emotional goodbye videos to family thinking he may die from COVID-19

According to Shapard, one of his doctors reached out to him about participating in the plasma donor program at Baptist Health. He said the donating process took about an hour and 15 minutes.

“[The staff at LifeSouth] informed that my plasma would immediately be transported to a patient in critical need and critical care and so, that was a wonderful feeling to know that my plasma that day was going somewhere and likely helping somebody improve — perhaps someone in the state I found myself in,” Shapard said.

Shapard also has become an advocate for COVID-19 patients. His story has been shared on social media around the country, and several people, either with COVID or who have family members with it, have reached out to him asking questions about what it’s like to have the virus.Loading …

“I really want to help relieve that anxiety,” he said.

Going from facing death, to helping others possibly escape it.

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