FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - South Florida doctors have turned the tables on the coronavirus with plasma, but they need donations.

Stefanie Miller, a 53-year-old Broward County teacher and animal lover, is fighting for her life against the coronavirus, and a plasma donation could be the key in helping her and other patients recover.

“She’s a schoolteacher, a second-grade schoolteacher,” Miller’s mother Faye Fogielgarn said. “Eight years ago, Stefanie started a not-for-profit animal rescue called Saving Grace and Her Furry Friends. Her life is devoted to service. She’s an incredible woman.”

Miller is also a mother who is now fighting a serious viral infection.

“She is on a ventilator, she’s got COVID-19, and she has a son who just turned 28, who had to celebrate his birthday without his mother,” Fogielgarn said. “I’m scared. I just need her to get well.”

Fogielgarn, who also had COVID-19 and believes she may have it again, is urging people who have already recovered from the virus to get tested in hopes of donating their plasma to her daughter.

“She needs this plasma,” she said. “We gotta get Stefanie some help.”

It’s still unclear if plasma helps those with COVID-19, but active trials are being conducted across the country, including at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.

“By having somebody that has been infected, that has recovered from that infection, having that person donate their plasma and using that plasma for someone who is critically ill, who is currently battling that infection, that can help boost up their reserve, their resources, their immune system, so that now you have more antibodies fighting that off, that infection,” Dr. Joshua Lenchus said.

The trial at Broward Health Medical Center is just days into the plasma study.

“This whole thing is predicated on people donating blood — not everybody — people who have been infected who have since recovered,” Lenchus said.

“That’s the important thing, it’s just to get the people who are still sick and suffering help,” Fogielgarn said. “My son-in-law has it, too, but he’s at home. He’s not in the hospital, but he’s been sick.”

The family is fighting the virus and praying for a good prognosis and full recovery for Miller.

“My life is devoted to saving hers,” Fogielgarn said. “I’ll do anything to save her life.”

If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered from it, or have been asymptomatic for several weeks and tested negative for the coronavirus, visit oneblood.org. You’ll have to go to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page, and if you respond to all those questions, someone will contact you so that you may talk to them about donating your plasma.

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