How plasma transfusions may heal COVID-19 patients

By Kay Lim, CBS News

As Lona Towsley lay in the ICU at University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, battling COVID-19, the two-time cancer survivor felt like giving up. “I was trying to fight for my husband and my kids,” she said. “But in my mind, it was getting way too hard.  I didn’t think I’d see my husband again. I was fighting to breathe. Stuff started coming up out of my lungs. I was just slowly strangling, was what it felt like.”

Correspondent Allison Aubrey, of National Public Radio, asked, “You really thought this was the end?”

“I honestly did.”

With Towsley’s consent, her doctors administered an experimental treatment: a transfusion of plasma donated by someone who had just recently recovered from coronavirus.

“I believe that that’s what saved my life,” Towsley said.

Within a few days, Towsley went from being intubated on a ventilator to breathing on her own and feeling better. Read more …