COVID-19 survivor gives back


A Milwaukee coronavirus survivor has donated blood in the hope his antibodies can be used to help treat other patients battling the virus.

Dr. Dave Lal, a pediatric surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, tested positive for COVID-19 a few weeks ago.

“I felt fine, but then I developed some just muscle aches and just was tired,” Dr. Lal said. He recently traveled out-of-state and learned someone he was exposed to on that trip tested positive for the virus. He assumes he contracted it during this time.

“The worst of it was just worrying that maybe I unwillingly infected some of my patients or families and colleagues,” Dr. Lal said.

Per protocol, he isolated for 14 days until last Monday, when he received a negative test.

Dr. Lal then looked into the possibility of donating his plasma as a part of the experimental treatment approved by the FDA.

Dr. Thomas Abshire of Versiti said it’s a process of transferring the antibodies that fight COVID-19 from those who have recovered, to patients who are seriously ill with the virus.

“The FDA about a couple of weeks back allowed for emergency approval to be able to treat patients who were sick in the hospital with a plasma infusion,” Dr. Abshire said.

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