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Your Healthy Family: As need for convalescent plasma rises, Colorado Springs survivor is giving back

Posted at 3:09 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 17:09:17-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Back in August, Paul Nielsen of Colorado Springs shared his story with me about contracting COVID-19 in April, being admitted to UCHealth Memorial Hospital North on May 4th, and his eventual recovery.
Your Healthy Family: Springs COVID survivor documenting his long haul to recovery

In a book Paul is writing about his experience, he describes how he believes that receiving convalescent plasma saved his life, and that before his transfusion, he was losing the fight with COVID-19.
Your Healthy Family: Springs man avoids ventilator thanks to convalescent plasma

When I first met Paul in August, I asked him if he planned to donate his plasma. Paul explained he had been told he could not donate plasma for 12 months because he had received a transfusion himself.

With the demand for convalescent plasma growing, The FDA revised the time period to donate after a transfusion to three months. Paul says, “I heard that I was now going to be allowed to donate plasma, so I got online and filled out the questionnaire. I got approved for it and I started looking for times to sign up. Now I'm coming in every two weeks to give back the same plasma that saved my life back in May when I was in the hospital.”

As Paul sat in the reclining chair at Vitalant blood donation center in Colorado Springs [https://www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx] donating his plasma, I asked him as a survivor if he was surprised by the current spike we are seeing in our country. Paul’s reply was quick. “As long as there is a portion of our population that doesn't take COVID seriously, it's going to keep spreading. I think that's why we're seeing our third big spike right now, and we've had the highest number of deaths with 3,100 people dying in a single day. It doesn't need to be that way - if everyone would take it seriously.”

As for Paul’s book, it’s getting close to being published, and Paul says he is happy he had a little more work to do. “I just added a chapter on the end called “Full Circle” about donating. I was able to receive and now I’m able to give back. I signed with a publisher just a few days ago and just started communicating with the editor. The book is going to be called “COVID Case 741” and I hope it's available in two or three months.”

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