San Antonio – They were already bonded by blood, but two families got a chance to share their connection in-person Wednesday.
The first person to donate convalescent plasma in San Antonio for COVID-19 patients, David Herrmann, met face-to-face with the wife and son of the first man he helped, Jimmie Hayden. Masked up and several feet away, Hermmann came out to meet Wyatt and Ashley Hayden as they arrived at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center to make their own plasma donations.
Herrmann had already had an opportunity to meet Jimmie Hayden virtually, but Wednesday was the first time he has met any of the Haydens in person.
“It’s great to finally meet him. He’s like part of our family now. I feel like he is our family,” Ashley Hayden said.
Herrmann, who has made four separate plasma donations, said he was at STBTC to get a blood sample taken because his antibody levels have been too low for him to to donate.
It is believed the antibodies in the convalescent plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients might provide passive immunity to some people still fighting the disease.
But Herrmann’s no longer the only donor, an STBTC spokesman said. He is now one of 55 in the San Antonio area.
Herrmann’s wife and daughter even joined him Wednesday to be screened to see if they could be potential donors.
“It feels good I was able to help,” Herrmann said. “The main purpose for me being here is to help get the word out to get other donors in here to help these people who are very sick. And so far, it sounds like it may be working.”
While Wyatt Hayden had previously donated plasma, Wednesday was Ashley Hayden’s first time. Despite her apprehension around needles, she was eager to do her part.
“It means everything,” Ashley Hayden said. “I’m on a high right now just being able to help somebody else out like he helped us. And just, I hope one day we can actually meet face to face with no masks and be able to give him a hug for everything that he’s done for our family.”
HOW TO DONATE
If you are a recovered COVID-19 patient interested in donating your plasma, you can contact the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center to get more information by emailing COVID19@southtexasblood.org.