Central California man diagnosed with COVID-19 hoping to help others infected by coronavirus

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Goon Pattanumotana is finally home after being discharged from St. Agnes Medical Center just days after he tested positive for the coronavirus.

He says he's felt better than he has in days, and It'll now be up to people like him to help others infected with the life-threatening virus.

"This could be, if all goes well, biologically, this could be a bridge to a better vaccine or cure later," says Central California Blood Center CEO Christopher Staub.

The staff at the Central California Blood Center is the first blood center in the country to produce pathogen-reduced plasma from patients who've recovered from COVID-19.

RELATED: Valley man diagnosed with coronavirus talks about his experience

"We're taking the plasma and using an FDA-approved method on pathogen inactivating the plasma, so any virus or germ on the plasma would be neutralized," Staub said.

Staub of the says the FDA approved the experimental treatment, which is being used on an emergency basis.

He says clinical trials with the coronavirus have yet to be done, but medical officials are hopeful it will lead them in the direction of a potential cure.

"The antibodies will go into the patient sick in the hospital, and we'll neutralize their virus," Staub said.

COVID-19 donors will have to meet certain criteria, which includes being asymptomatic for two weeks and testing negative for the virus.

Staub says they're working with Fresno County Public Health and local hospitals to reach out to patients.

Meanwhile, Pattanumotana still has a long road to recovery but says he's happy to donate and save others if the blood centers ask him for help.

"It's up to all of us to do our duty, whether we're social distancing or donating plasma," Pattanumotana said. "We all have something to contribute."

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.