Jason Garcia donated his plasma for experimental transfer into three patients on April 1 and within days, doctors began seeing an improvement in one of them.
Jason Garcia didn't think too much into it when he began experiencing a mild cough and some congestion at the beginning of March. The 36-year-old aerospace engineer from Escondido, California, ignored the symptoms and went about his usual life. However, while in the midst of a work trip, he noticed that his cough now came with a headache. Within a day, Garcia also had a fever, intermittent body aches, and shortness of breath. This time, he took heed of what his body was telling him and quickly contacted his doctor, who upon hearing his symptoms, asked him to go to the hospital and get tested for Coronavirus.
AEVEX Aerospace is proud to recognize our employee Jason Garcia who has recovered from coronavirus and donated his plasma to help save lives. This is the definition of our #WHY “Empowering people to make the world a safer place” #AEVEX #Aerospace pic.twitter.com/2rSZvPrVRS— AEVEX Aerospace (@AEVEX_Aerospace) April 9, 2020
According to CNN, Garcia received the call on March 14. He'd tested positive for the novel Coronavirus was advised to immediately quarantine himself. "They said stay isolated," he said. "That's what I did." For the next 10 or so days, Garcia isolated himself at home; away from his active-duty Navy wife and their 11- month-old daughter, he restricted himself to his office or the guest room. He soon began to feel better and by March 18, he said, he considered himself "symptom-free."
Thanks to his condition improving, Garcia received a letter from the county of San Diego, informing him that it was safe for him to come out of isolation. Although the protocol for coming out of isolation was 72 hours without symptoms, he decided to be extra careful and chose to stay in isolation for five more days. Garcia rejoined the world on March 23 and celebrated his victory on social media with a Facebook post to inform his friends that although he'd been infected, he was fine now. "I claimed victory over this deadly virus. I won over COVID-19," he posted.
The FDA is having the Red Cross collect blood from people who have fully recovered from #coronavirus, since their plasma is being looked at to help current patients with life-threatening infections pic.twitter.com/MMbNCUIk3s— Priscilla Liguori (@PriscillaABC27) April 6, 2020
Meanwhile, health officials at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange County, California, also turned to social media with a call for those who've recovered from the virus. They were looking for someone to help with an experimental treatment that could potentially save the life of another Coronavirus patient. A friend of Garcia's happened to see both social media posts and reached out to him about it. A few days after he came out of quarantine, the hospital contacted Garcia and he was more than happy to help.
St. Joseph's Hospital informed him that they were looking for a plasma donation from him to help a Coronavirus patient who was in dire condition and unresponsive to other treatments. "This can be turned into a lifesaving opportunity for someone who can't fight off this disease," said Garcia, who immediately agreed to donate his plasma. Wendy Escobedo, director of nursing for renal services at St. Joseph's Hospital said in a video posted online that the donation would allow the current Coronavirus patient to receive antibodies from Garcia—a recovered patient—which could help fight the disease.
Garcia donated his plasma for experimental transfer into three patients on April 1 and within days, doctors began seeing an improvement in the individual who was in the worst condition. A spokesperson for the hospital revealed that after receiving Garcia's plasma, the patient was taken off some medication, is healthier in terms of oxygenation, and is doing incrementally better day by day. "When I was diagnosed, the feeling of dread and fear, the fact this was a positive," said Garcia. "This thing ended up possibly saving someone's life."
Jason Garcia, who has recovered from coronavirus, donated his plasma in an experimental treatment to help Covid-19 patients. His plasma has been used to help three patients. Garcia says one patient is "improving, but everything is still too early to tell." https://t.co/tuCEdBveaV pic.twitter.com/LUPH1hJuwf— CNN (@CNN) April 7, 2020
Although he doesn't know how he came in contact with the potentially deadly virus, Garcia said he'd glad to have been able to contribute to a treatment until a vaccine is ready. "If this works there's going to be an awesome chance for people to save a lot of heartache for others and fight the fight for their lives," he said.