- 18 Oct 2020
The age-old methodology of borrowing antibodies from recovered patients to transfuse them into the infected person to help them recover and provide what's called "Passive immunity" is gaining momentum in India. Knowing the importance of life saving plasma, this Facebook page took up the initiative of helping COVID infected families connect with donors. If you are in search of a donor this is the right place for you.
Two NRIs, Rajinipriya Pabbathi and Santhosh Shan living in US voluntarily took up this initiative of starting a facebook group called “ COVID 19 PLASMA DONOR - RECIPIENT HELP INDIA GROUP " to help patient families in India connect with donors. Their journey of saving lives started in the US in the month of March where they served 60+ plasma requests. To donate plasma or create a plasma request in United States click here.
[On left: Santhosh Shan and on right Rajinipriya Pabbathi, admins of Facebook page.]
Convalescent plasma played a crucial role in the past infections; it can be the the difference maker between life and death. So, understanding the despairing situation of Delhi they started the above mentioned page in March and till now have attended to 250+ plasma requests.
Following the bleak in Delhi, they started serving many requests all over India (Mumbai, Bangalore, Patna, Kolkata, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Ranchi, Pune, Kurnool, Guntur, Delhi and so on).
The group played a substantial role in Hyderabad; they received over 950+ requests on FB page and provided plasma to approximately 350+plasma requests. As they don't have access to the official COVID recovered patients list from the local government, they registered the donors who voluntarily came forward to donate, and also shared requests on different platforms to serve much better and faster.
● If they knew of any COVID recovered patients in the community through patient family, social media, etc. They reached out to them and encouraged them to donate.
● The team received 1500 plasma requests all over India and could serve approximately 670+ requests till date.
● Youngest patient to receive plasma through the platform was just 24 years and the oldest was 82 years old who recovered.
Apart from connecting with donors, the group also provided information regarding plasma therapy, antibody testing, blood compatibility, medicines, beds availability and quarantine packages etc.
● The group has a team of doctors who give telemedicine consultation to home isolated COVID positive patients who reached out to them.
● The admin says, "above all we stood as a support system to many patient families who were emotionally down. We listened to their stories and tried to reduce their stress".
● Through the Facebook family of 15,000 members the team encouraged and motivated donors to step forward and donate plasma.
[Image source : Facebook]
Story of a warrior who fought off the disease:
Damodar Thogiti, 44, I came to know I was positive for the virus with pneumonia on 22July. I was admitted to a private hospital in Warangal. After two days of treatment, Doctor's conveyed that it was my last stage and suggested that I should get better treatment in Hyderabad.
Then I started my journey in an ambulance with almost one and half oxygen cylinders besides me, for 3 hours of travelling, and due to severe coughing blood was sprinkling out of my mouth. Finally reached the hospital and was admitted to ICU, sugar levels were crossing and medication wasn't working up to doctor’s expectations. Doctors suggested plasma therapy is the only option left. Immediately my brother dropped a post on COVID 19 PLASMA DONOR-RECIPIENT HELP INDIA GROUP Facebook page. Within a few hours we received a call from Rajinipriya and team. They arranged a donor by name Badrinath who was really a precious soul. Today I'm alive due to their help, I will be thankful to them for my entire lifetime.
[Image Source : Facebook]
● The group has 10 volunteers who put in a lot of effort for the noble cause. And one volunteer Asish Paidewar from Australia ( who is pursuing masters in information technology with specialization in cyber security ) takes care of the Facebook page in blocking any fraudsters, scammers etc.
The team notes “It’s an emotional journey with many ups and downs”. We cried along with the patient families when we heard about the patient’s health condition and we jumped and cheered when we found a donor and plasma therapy was successful for the patient. "Many success stories" and also a few heart breaking ones, it's a lifetime opportunity, we would say. Finally, we are doing this service as a pure noble cause with no monetary benefits to us as well as the Donors. Without god's blessings, we wouldn’t have gone this far.