Oakdale woman pleads for plasma donors to help father hospitalized with COVID-19

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — While there is no known cure for COVID-19, doctors across the country are trying different avenues of treatment including plasma transfusions from patients who survived the disease.

“He’s the rock of the family. The most kindhearted person you’ll ever meet,” Amber Bispo said. “This virus is just terrible, it’s just absolutely terrible.”

Bispo, who lives in Oakdale, can’t be at her father’s side as he battles COVID-19 At Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento. The illness is far too contagious.

“And that is probably the hardest part because he’s alone and he’s scared,” she said.

But physical separation won’t keep her from feeling close to her dad, 78-year old Jim Kassis, by doing everything in her power to try to save him.

“He is in critical condition and we are trying to use the wonderful world of social media to connect us with somebody who may be able to help,” she said on Instagram in a desperate plea for plasma donations for an experimental treatment. “We are looking for somebody who has tested positive and is not longer infected with COVID-19.”

According to the American Red Cross, survivors have antibodies in the plasma portion of their blood that attack the virus. So they hope that transfusing that plasma into sick patients can boost immunity.

The procedure is still being tested and it’s unclear how effective it is.

And it’s not easy to find a match right now. The American Association of Blood Banks says donors can not have shown symptoms for at least 28 days or they must have a negative test.

“It’s going to be very difficult to find because this virus is so new,” Bispo said.

But as her father fights for his health, Bispo won’t stop fighting for him, urging anyone who has survived the disease to consider donating.

“You would potentially be saving somebody’s life,” she said.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating, click or tap here.

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