Doctors, community looking for help from healed COVID-19 patients

ByTom Abrahams KTRK logo
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Family asks for blood from COVID survivor to help loved one
Family hoping experimental blood tranfusion from COVID survivor can help loved one.

HOUSTON, Texas -- Rohan Bavadekar is a 42-year-old father of three and is among the more than 2,800 Texans who've contracted COVID-19.

He is in St. Luke's hospital on a ventilator. At home, his wife and three young children are also positive. They are isolated and improving and getting help from the Hindu faith-based charity SEWA. The group is providing the family with food and medicine and supplies while they're in isolation.

"They are a beautiful family," said Kavita Tewary, the SEWA Houston chapter Executive Director. "They have been pushed into this very difficult situation. How does a mom cope with the kids at home and also keep up with their sanity? It's really, really hard for the family right now."

They are also putting out a community wide call for help. They're hoping someone who has tested positive, but is now healthy can help Rohan beat the virus.

"We are trying to see if we can get some plasma donors for him and that would match with his blood groups," said SEWA Volunteer Madan Luthra.

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The treatment Luthra hopes might help Rohan is an FDA experimental investigation new drug protocol at Methodist Hospital. For the first time ever, two patients were treated with what's called convalescent plasma this past weekend.

Dr. Jim Musser is part of the consortium of researchers across the country working on the treatment which introduces the plasma of healed COVID-19 patients into those still fighting it. One person's antibodies is doing the work for another.

Because it's a small number of patients, we're in a watchful waiting period. And I stress that this is very much an experimental investigative protocol that we're using here," Dr. Musser told our sister station, ABC13 in Houston. "Our donors were proven to be COVID-19 cases. They have recovered. And now they are at least two weeks down the road healthy, feeling fine, asymptomatic. They are free of infection and so forth."

Rohan's friends are reaching out on social media looking for potential donors who they will then connect with hospitals. They are hoping for a miracle that not only helps Rohan but all those hospitalized with the illness.

If you want to help, you can call SEWA's non-medical helpline at 281-909-SEWA for the Midwest, 708-872-SEWA and 302 330 SEWA for the Northeast, and 203 872 SEWA for the western United States.