Houston COVID-19 survivor gives back by donating blood

We’re now getting our first look inside a Houston area blood center as they work to provide treatment for Coronavirus COVID-19 patients.

In late March, 25-year-old Kate Koenig tested positive for COVID-19. Koenig lives in Houston but believes she got sick during graduate school in New York City. 

“It was scary and exhausting,” said Koenig. “I’m just very happy right now to have recovered and to have no lingering side effects.”

THE LATEST: Coronavirus COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries in greater Houston area

After several weeks without symptoms, Koenig fully recovered and tested negative for the virus. On Friday, Koenig visited the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to donate her plasma for current Coronavirus patients. Some medical experts believe antibodies provided by donors that beat COVID-19 can be used to help others struggling with the virus. Koenig says test results show she has antibodies for the Coronavirus.

“I’ve never donated blood, let alone plasma before,” said Koenig. “Just knowing how horrible this virus is, it really pushed me to think that I need to do something. It’s being a good neighbor. This is the least you can do.”

RELATED: Donations needed for local hospitals and first responders

“There’s a lot of hope out there that using the antibodies from people who have recovered will help those that haven’t yet formed the antibodies,” said Dr. Marsha Bertholf from Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

According to Dr. Bertholf, their office started accepting plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients nearly a month ago. Now, they average about 6 donations per day.

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“We’ve been able to produce over 100 doses of plasma to treat local patients,” said Bertholf.  “We occasionally hear back from a family member that their loved one is recovering. We hope that will be a good trend.”

Hundreds of people in the Houston area have recovered from the Coronavirus. If you’d like to donate plasma or know someone that can CLICK HERE.

“It’s the best feeling in the world to think that I’m doing something to help others,” said Koenig.