This Father’s Day, Franklin Myles is fortunate to be alive after being led away from his home on a stretcher and taken to Hillcrest Hospital this spring. His tight-knit family of five was jolted when he needed emergency care in what felt like a blink of an eye due to the coronavirus. While Myles was the only member of his family to need hospital care, the virus also infected three other members of his family.
On Sunday, Myles looks forward to showing his wife, Tanya and their three children Mariah, Alexander and Jordan how much they mean to him after spending six frightening days in the hospital battling low oxygen levels and kidney issues. During that time his greatest fear was leaving his family too soon.
“The frightening thing (was) thinking about the possibility of your family having to carry on without you there. I was concerned much more about that than I was my health,” said Myles.
It’s Something That You Just Want to Do
Prior to entering the hospital, Myles had read and watched news segments about how the American Red Cross and other blood collection organizations joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s effort to support the collection and distribution of convalescent plasma. He knew it was a potentially life-saving treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Once fully recovered, donating his convalescent plasma became a priority. As an owner of a State Farm Insurance Agency, Myles helps clients prepare for the unexpected and is accustomed to helping them get to a better state. Donating his convalescent plasma to patients in need was no different.
“When you’re going through that situation of uncertainty, if you’re able to get out of there you want to help other people,” said Myles. “In the hospital I said if I survive this, there’s no way I am not going to donate to try to help as many people as I can with my blood.”
A Gratifying Gift for the Critically Ill
Last week Myles made his second convalescent plasma donation, and his second blood donation of any kind. Thanks to the generosity of Myles and other fully recovered patients, the Red Cross has collected convalescent plasma from more than 7,000 donors and has distributed more than 8,750 units to treat patients at hospitals throughout the country.
Helping families remain whole during this pandemic is a gift that Myles feels grateful to give, “I feel proud to do anything to lend a hand if it’s going to save one person’s life.”
How to Help After Fully Recovering from COVID-19
The Red Cross is encouraging individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma by registering on RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid. Their donation may be able to help seriously ill coronavirus patients and provide hope to families. Individuals may qualify if they meet specific convalescent plasma and regular blood donation eligibility requirements:
- Are at least 17 years old and weigh 110 lbs. Additional weight requirements apply for donors age 18 or younger.
- Are in good health. Generally feel well, even if being treated for a chronic condition. View blood donation eligibility FAQ.
- Have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19, but are now symptom-free and fully recovered from COVID-19.