When I was in the hospital, I received blood products. To be honest, I don't remember what it was exactly and at the time I was too weak to ask questions. I didn't think too much of it until I read about a program through the FDA and American Red Cross.
To summarize, receiving plasma with COVID-19 antibodies can help those most sick with COVID. However, that plasma needs to be donated by people who have recovered from the virus.
It dawned on me that the blood products I received in the hospital - someone actually went to a donation facility, got poked and sat there for an hour watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy while they donated a part of their body. Someone was inconvenienced for no reason other than they wanted to maybe do something good for someone - for me.
As soon as that thought crossed my mind, I signed up. I'm already sitting and watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy! I can certainly put on jeans and handle a little poke.
I drove to the nearest Red Cross Blood Center and gave my plasma at the assigned time. The staff treated me like a human and it was easy. I was thanked about a dozen times. At the end, I got a treat of a juice box and CheezIts. I drove home from Madison and felt a bit more like myself. The little road trip was good for my mental health. It was pretty much the best day I'd had in a long time.
This experience was a poignant reminder of something I know to be true - when you give, you get so much more in return. The value of the gift expands exponentially. The plasma itself is valuable, but its value increases because the person receiving it knows someone cared enough to give it and because I felt good knowing I contributed something positive to what can feel like a bleak world. It's a win-win-win.
Thank you to all of you who are throwing your little positive thoughts and actions into the universe. These are the things that will get us through this pandemic. These are the things that will make our communities stronger. #PayItForward