San Antonio couple helps save 68 COVID-19 patients and counting after donating plasma

Both Brian and Dina Murphy fell ill to the virus in March, but have recovered

A doctor holds a donation of convalescent plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient at the Arnulfo Arias Madrid Hospital, in Panama City, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. The blood product donated from recovered COVID-19 patients, known as convalescent plasma, may have antibodies that can help those critically ill from the virus. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco) (Arnulfo Franco, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIO – One San Antonio couple is making a huge difference in the city’s fight against the new coronavirus.

Brian and Dina Murphy, of San Antonio, were featured in a report on Good Morning America for donating plasma to aid 68 COVID-19 patients and counting.

Both Brian and Dina fell ill with the virus in March, according to GMA’s report, however, both of them had different symptoms.

Brian, 59, said he is prone to sinus infections and felt the sickness begin in early March. He said he didn’t have all of the COVID-19 symptoms at the time and doctors diagnosed him with a sinus infection, according to GMA.

“It really was a glorified sinus infection because I was really tired most of the time, lethargic, if you will,” he said to GMA. “And then the last four days of my illness, I was really in bed, just down and out and just didn’t want to do anything -- everything was so different.”

For Dina, her symptoms with the virus began with a fever. She also experienced “an amplified sense of taste” and nausea, GMA reports.

Dina went to her doctor after experiencing symptoms for five days and tested negative for the flu and for strep throat. But, she was also tested for COVID-19 and it came back positive five days later, GMA reports.

Although Brian was never tested for COVID-19, Dina told GMA she believes she contracted the virus from her husband.

Now, the pair has been donating plasma at the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center ever since. Dina began donating plasma when she was fully recovered, in mid-April, and Brian started donating in June, GMA reports.

“We want to give back, I mean that’s who we are,” Brian said to GMA. “We were raised that way and to do work in the community.”

Together, they’ve donated plasma to help 68 patients total and counting.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate plasma, visit the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center’s website to learn more.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.