Lonoke man setting plasma donation record after fight with COVID-19

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Antibodies have been instrumental in helping people recover from COVID-19. The way to give those antibodies is donate convalescent plasma. One man from Lonoke is setting records on how many times he is donating.

Walking through the door of the clinic, signing in and taking a seat is nothing new for Jimmy Perkins. Thursday, he donated convalescent plasma for the 18th time since the pandemic began all to help those fighting COVID-19. 

“She just inserted the needle to start drawing the blood then once the blood is drawn the plasma is separated from the blood,” Perkins said. 

He was one of the first cases of Coronavirus in the state, testing positive in March of 2020.

“I woke up at like three in the morning the first day and couldn’t breathe,” Perkins said. 

He ended up spending two days in the hospital, but at that point, antibody treatments were not an option.

“I would’ve been glad to receive some if I could’ve,” Perkins said. 

Now, he’s giving up what he never got. This, however, goes way beyond the pandemic. It started about two decades ago when his daughter was just a baby.

“Of course, she’s 21 now, but right when she was born she had to have plasma for her illness and she was in the hospital about 14 days and she was on a ventilator,” Perkins said. 

That experience moved him to make regular visits to the blook bank.

“Probably for ten years I donated twice a week,” Perkins said. 

So when the chance to help others came up again, there was no question.

“It’s an easy process and you can make the difference between life and death for another person,” Perkins said. 

With each drop, he is giving the COVID-19 cases following his a better chance at recovery.

“What more could you ask for,” Perkins said. 

This is now nine months after Perkins first tested positive and he still has the antibodies. He said as long as the demand is there and he is able to donate he will continue to do so.

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