Miami Mayor Francis Suarez becomes 1st Florida COVID-19 plasma donor

MIAMI (WSVN) - City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is doing his part to help in the COVID-19 pandemic after recovering from the virus.

According to OneBlood, Suarez became the first person in Florida to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

“His donation will be used to help a critically ill coronavirus patient in Florida,” the company said.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an experimental treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bud Scholl, the president and CEO of OneBlood, said, “COVID-19 convalescent plasma comes out of the blood supply and could actually be one of the few therapies that gives these critically-ill patients relief.”

People who donate their plasma to be used for COVID-19 therapy must have recovered from the virus and currently be healthy. The plasma is meant to be used in an emergency situation to help those with life-threatening coronavirus infections.

John Weiner’s father-in-law has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is fighting for his life. Despite breathing through a ventilator, Weiner is hopeful his father-in-law will pull through.

“He’s been struggling for a few days,” Weiner said. “I think he’s going to win this fight, and hopefully with this, he’s going to get better. Let’s hope this really makes a difference and gets out there for more patients.”

“I have a moral responsibility to do this. My plasma donation has the potential to help a coronavirus patient recover,” Suarez said. “It gave me an opportunity to continue to help. Even though he’s been ventilated for a few days, I’m hoping this is something that can bring him back.”

Suarez also brought Rita Suarez, his mother, to the donation for support.

“It is very emotional because you’re saving a life, or you’re trying to save a life,” she said.

The Miami mayor announced he was free of the coronavirus on Monday.

As more people are diagnosed across the state with the virus, most of them will recover.

Suarez and OneBlood is joining forces to ask those who recover to donate their plasma to save others.

“We have to fight until the end, until the last person is cured,” Suarez said.

There are a lot of restrictions in place if people recover from the virus and can donate their plasma to help others.

To see if you are eligible to donate plasma, click here.

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