A taxi driver from Romford, Essex, has spoken about his experience of receiving blood plasma after contracting Covid-19.
John Curtis, 58, came down with the virus not long after lockdown. He’d gone back to work, but developed a dry cough shortly after. Initially, he put it down to the air conditioning in his car but it worsened, so he went to a drive-through Covid-19 testing facility and his results came back positive.
“The next day I woke up and felt like I’d run a marathon up and down the stairs,” he says. “I phoned 111 and had to break off from talking to get my breath. They sent an ambulance and I was taken into the Queen’s Hospital in Romford.
“I felt frustrated I hadn’t got things sorted properly for my kids. I felt like I could walk out alive or get carried out.”
On the ward, Curtis was told he could join a trial to try one of three different treatments – one of which was convalescent plasma.
This type of treatment involves plasma being collected from donors who have recovered from Covid-19, via their blood. The plasma contains antibodies that help the body fight against the virus.
When the antibody-rich plasma is transfused into newly-infected patients, it’s thought it gives their immune systems a fighting chance in staving off the worst repercussions of infection.
“I said I will take part in anything to try and combat this thing,” says Curtis. “I had to sign a form and they came around with the plasma.
“It was like a bag of orange fluid, about half a litre. I had one unit a day for two days. It went through me in about half an hour.”
Did it work?
The father-of-two is still...