An Iowan who’s recovered from a serious case of Covid is urging others to donate their plasma. Sue Kasperbauer got Covid at the end of June and ended up in the hospital.

“When I got there, they told my family that it could go either way,” Kasperbauer says. “…The first night they started me on a lot of medications and, when it was available, they started me on convalescent plasma…I remember telling my nurse that I felt so much better afterwards, like my body woke up again after 10 days of being in a lot of pain.”

Kasperbauer spent 10 more days in the hospital.

“For me, the convalescent plasma really seemed to be what turned things around and then when I could finally breathe well enough without using oxygen, I went home to finish recovering there,” Kasperbauer says. “I had time to really think about the fact that a person that I don’t even know took time out of their life to donate convalescent plasma and helped save my life. I got to go home and be with my family because a stranger donated their plasma, and I’m so thankful to that person.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, convalescent plasma therapy may help people recover from Covid-19 by reducing the severity or shortening the duration of the disease. Kasperbauer has become a plasma donor.

“Each time I do it, I’m helping up to four other patients survive Covid, too,” Kasperbauer says. “If you’ve had the virus, you have convalescent plasma and donating plasma is something you can do to help all of us get through all of this.”

Some blood centers, like LifeServe in Des Moines, are screening all blood donors to see if their blood contains antibodies indicating they’ve already had the virus and could donate convalescent plasma as well. There’s currently a national shortage of convalescent plasma.