This Mother’s Day, Harriotte Makfinsky is especially grateful for her health and to celebrate the simple things with her husband, Dan Makfinsky and their three sons James, Elliot and Quinn. After testing positive for the coronavirus this spring, Makfinsky was inspired to donate convalescent plasma to the American Red Cross to potentially help patients battling COVID-19.
The Red Cross, with other blood collection organizations, has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s effort to support the collection and distribution of convalescent plasma, a potentially life-saving treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients. To date, the Red Cross has distributed more than a thousand convalescent plasma products and is projected to collect and process thousands more in the weeks to come.
I Would do it Again
Sharing her good health was important for Makfinsky and her husband, who had also tested positive and has recovered from the coronavirus. “We have the antibodies and other people don’t. Plasma was an easy thing that we could do, and the Red Cross was the first one to respond to us saying we could donate,” said Makfinsky.
Prior to donating convalescent plasma, Makfinsky had never given blood of any kind. She recalls the donation process being very relaxing and something she would do again. ‘’Everyone was so nice and helpful. They explained everything and answered all of my questions about how it works,” said Makfinsky.
Helping Patients Recover and Celebrate Family
There is no known end date in this fight against the coronavirus, but Makfinsky was filled with hope just knowing that there was a chance she could help a patient struggling to beat COVID-19 with her plasma donation. She is unbelievably grateful to have her health and to be able to spend quality time with her boys and her husband.
Makfinsky urges other individuals that are fully recovered and eligible to donate their plasma to apply with the Red Cross. “It’s such a small sacrifice, there’s no reason not to try it. The possibility that it can help someone get better is worth it.”
How to Donate Plasma if Recovered 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.