Hamilton Southeastern community hosts blood, plasma drive to support teacher battling COVID-19

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FISHERS, Ind. – A Hamilton Southeastern teacher who is fighting COVID-19 in the hospital is doing better after spending weeks in the ICU. Neil Wagoner credits plasma donations for helping his recovery.

Thankfully, he’s out of the ICU and is starting to feel more like himself.

“You just have to learn to keep breathing,” explained Wagoner, “It’s something you take for granted.”

He’s doing better thanks to CCP, or COVID-19 convalescent plasma. A treatment, he wasn’t able to receive until just days ago.

“There’s a lot of people who can’t get the plasma because it’s so short, so people who have had this they really need to find a way to donate because they can save lives,” he added.

Neil’s story inspired his fellow teachers and Hamilton Southeastern community to step up. A CCP and blood drive brought out more than a hundred people on Black Friday.

“Typically, Black Friday is a day that most people are spending shopping, but it’s really nice to spend it donating to help others,” said Janet Chandler, the President of the Hamilton Southeastern Education Association and helped organize the drive, “When we found out he needed plasma we tried to set this blood drive up to help bring awareness that there is a shortage.”

“That’s going to help so many people and we’re just so grateful,” added Kristine Pierce, a Representative with Versiti, hosting the donation drive.

As COVID cases continue to rise, so is the need for convalescent plasma. With the current supply extremely low, Versiti is collecting it from people who have had COVID-19 and now have produced the antibodies that can help severely ill patients, like Wagoner.

“That’s completely why we do what we do. The patients that we serve are at the heart of our mission,” said Pierce.

And for Wagoner, although he’s still got a ways to go in his recovery it’s support like this, that motivates him.

“I’ve been so humbled and honored with what they are doing,” said Wagoner, “It’s something I am so glad that others are going to benefit because there are so many people in the hospital right now.”

If you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19 and would like to donate plasma or blood click here to learn more.

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