COVID-19 survivor Jimmie Hayden, wife Ashley, talk about ‘surreal’ experience with COVID-19, recovery and importance of plasma donation

Hayden, the first San Antonio patient to receive convalescent plasma, answers your questions about the new coronavirus

SAN ANTONIO – Many people may feel like life has been a bit surreal during the global COVID-19 pandemic, but few have experienced it quite like Jimmie Hayden.

Hayden spent most of the month of April at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital. The fact that he spent two weeks on a ventilator, and nearly lost his battle with COVID-19 is understandably hard to process considering he was an active, healthy 47-year-old man until the end of March.

“I was on the ventilator for so long, that time span I really don’t have any recollection of that,” Hayden said. “So, you know, after I came off the ventilator and was able to start seeing some pictures of myself, it hit home.”

Hayden was the city’s first recipient of convalescent plasma, which he believes saved his life.

Related: Doctor explains experimental plasma treatment for COVID-19 patients

He and his wife, Ashley, were guests on the “COVID Questions” segments during KSAT’s 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. newscasts on Monday where they shared their experience and answered viewers’ questions.

KSAT Viewer Question: “When did you know something was wrong?”

Hayden said he had all of the classic symptoms of COVID-19. He developed a high fever that lasted more than a week. He also had a cough and lost his sense of taste and smell. But about 7 or 8 days into it, breathing became an issue.

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