U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), is doing his part to help others affected by the coronavirus.
Representative Kelly was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 27, has been declared free of the virus by medical professionals.
The congressman tested negative for the virus and positive for antibodies on May 6 at UPMC Falk Clinic in Pittsburgh, and then donated convalescent plasma at the Vitalant Blood Bank in Greentree on May 11.
Kelly released this statement regarding his recovery and the plasma donation:
“The coronavirus is a tough opponent for many who contract it. At age 72 and a type two diabetic, I am in the category of people most vulnerable to COVID-19, so I am grateful to have defeated it. Thank you to my wife Victoria and the doctors at Butler Memorial Hospital for caring for me during my recovery. Thank you also to the great team at UPMC for the work they are doing with convalescent plasma, which could save countless lives that would otherwise be lost to this disease,” said U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
Representative Kelly, who is now participating in a national clinical trial studying the effectiveness of blood transfusion for treating COVID-19, encourages those who have recovered from the disease to contact their doctor about donating convalescent plasma.
Representative Kelly is now among a select group of Pennsylvania residents who have donated blood plasma that may help patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
Representative Kelly is part of a national clinical trial that involves infusing the blood from a person who has recovered from the virus to a critically ill patient.
The study aims to determine if blood containing antibodies for the disease can reduce the severity of the illness in patients receiving the plasma.
To date, Vitalant has collected nearly 90 units of convalescent plasma and has distributed more than 50 units to various hospitals in Pennsylvania.
“If you want to help somebody, help them this way, everybody wins. You win as a person because you’re helping other people. They win because you’ve helped them. Hopefully other people think the same way and say you know what, I can do that same thing,” said Representative Kelly.