New Iberia man urges COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma as brother clings to life

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NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — On April 8, Chris Comeaux, 70, tested positive for COVID-19 while living at a New Iberia nursing home.

He’s been fighting the virus for a month now, and his brother says plasma could be their last hope to give Chris a second shot at life.

“It’s a real scary thought because we’ve had those conversations about where he would be buried,” Troy Comeaux, Chris’s brother said.

Ten days after Chris tested positive, his oxygen levels plummeted, and he was transferred from New Iberia Manor South Nursing Home to Iberia Medical Center.

Days after arriving, Chris was put on a ventilator, but still, his health worsened.

“After a few days of being on the ventilator, the doctor said, ‘I think we need to see about putting him on a list to get a plasma donation,'” Troy told News Ten.

Chris’s family took to Facebook to find a COVID-19 survivor that matched his blood type.

“We had a donor that came immediately to the forefront and volunteered. It took a couple days. Seven days later, we were told the plasma did not meet the requirements,” Troy added.

It’s been two weeks since Chris’s doctor recommended a plasma donation.

Troy says eight COVID-19 survivors have answered his families’ call for help, but try as they might, he says the process is taking too long.

“I understand that it’s changing. They’re learning something everyday about the rules, and the processes are changing almost on a daily basis, but people are dying in the process. We’re just so thankful he’s been able to hold on,” he said.

Troy says the only thing his family can do now is hold on to the hope that the plasma makes it to Chris before his heart stops beating.

“It’s a blessing to be well and to be healed and to be well from a disease, but what a blessing that you can help so many other people,” Troy said.

To donate plasma, you can go to vitalant.org/covidfree and apply.

To donate plasma to a COVID-19 patient, you must be a COVID-19 survivor, and you must be symptom-free for at least 14 days.

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