"Super Donor" Couple Who Survived Coronavirus Donates Enough Plasma To Save 68 Lives
They said they're just paying it forward after recovering from Covid-19 - and they're encouraging others to do the same!
As the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. reaches 4.8 million, most people are doing what they can to stay safe and protect themselves, and others. Sadly, many lives have been lost, but there are millions who have survived.
Some survivors have reported experiencing mild, flu-like symptoms and have gotten better within a week, while others were hospitalized and placed on ventilators. Either way, beating the coronavirus is something to be celebrated, and for some, it's been a motivator to give back.
Brian and Dina Murphy of San Antonio, TX both caught the virus in March. While their symptoms were different, they both knew something wasn't right. Dina had a fever, along with an amplified sense of smell and taste. Brian suffered from headaches and stiffness, what he calls a "glorified sinus infection."
"It really was a glorified sinus infection because I was really tired most of the time, lethargic, if you will," Brian told 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."
Brian and Dina Murphy both caught the coronavirus and recovered. Now they're working to give others that same chance. Brian Murphy/Facebook
When Dana got tested for Covid-19 and the results came back positive, the couples' suspicions were confirmed. While both Dana and Brian were sick for weeks, they've both made a full recovery and are now dedicating to helping others fight the virus.
Because they've both had the coronavirus, Dana and Brian's blood contains antibodies, which are proteins that help fight off infections and can provide protection against getting the virus again (although there's not enough information yet to determine if Covid-19 antibodies cause immunity).
Brian and Dina have already donated plasma a combined 19 times, enough to help 68 patients recover from the virus. Brian Murphy/Facebook
When the couple found out that they could help others who have been affected by the virus by donating their blood plasma, they jumped right in. The 'super donor' duo has already donated plasma 19 times, enough to help save 68 lives.
"Giving them plasma is really -- it's a lot easier than believe it or not, donating blood," Dina said. "They pull the plasma out of your blood and then they put your blood back in you. You don't feel it, you just feel a little coolness when it's going back in. So it's pretty simple and it takes a little bit more time."
The couple is hoping their dedication to donating plasma will inspire other survivors to do the same. Brian Murphy/Facebook
"We want to give back, I mean that's who we are," Brian added. "We were raised that way and to do work in the community."
Dina started donating plasma in April while Brian began in June. They both said their recovery from the virus was a huge inspiration in giving as much plasma as possible so that others have a chance to do the same.
"We just really hope that people will realize that this is something that if they're a survivor, they just need to do it," Dina said. "It's so important and you're saving mankind. That's what's really important."
Antibodies found in plasma are said to work by neutralizing the virus. Brian Murphy/Facebook