Minnesota college student who beat COVID-19 plans to donate blood plasma to help pandemic fight

(FOX 9)

Nearly 1,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Minnesota. Now, some of them want to do their part to help others.

Among those trying to help find a treatment for the disease is 21-year-old Minnesota college student Noah Kaplan.

“The worst that it ever got for me is that I had the chills, I had a 102 fever," explained Kaplan.

Kaplan first felt symptoms of COVID-19 come on last month after visiting friends studying abroad in Spain. After returning home to Hopkins, just a few days before the stay at home order went into effect, his mother urged him to get tested.

“I could not taste or smell anything at all,” recalled Kaplan. “I had a fever, small cough, stuffy nose.”

Sure enough, he had the virus. Somehow, his parents and younger sister never got it but his 23-year-old brother, who visited from Chicago, experienced terrible symptoms that required a trip to the hospital despite testing negative for COVID twice.

“He had a lot of shortness of breath,” said Kaplan. “He would walk to the bathroom from the couch and coughed like crazy and basically fighting for his breath.”

Noah has been in daily contact with the Minnesota health department and now that he's considered clear of the virus, he wants to do his part to help.

The Mayo Clinic is teaming up with the Red Cross and urging people who have successfully recovered to donate plasma.

People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

"If I am able to do this I would be saving I don’t know how many lives but one is enough for me,” said Kaplan.