Nurse with COVID-19 needs ‘perfect match’ blood donation

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A nurse in Oregon is in desperate need of a hard-to-come-by blood donation as he fights COVID-19. 

Holly Jimenez said her husband, Jose, started getting sick on March 20. He had body aches, chills and was sleeping for most of the day. 

But Jose got worse. He went to a hospital in Springfield on March 28 and tested positive for the coronavirus two days later. 

The parents of six live about an hour south of Eugene, in Oakland. Holly, who is also a nurse, said Jose had been working at a mental health unit at the Roseburg VA Health Care System when he became ill. They aren’t sure where Jose was exposed to the coronavirus. 

Holly and Jose Jimenez. (Courtesy of Holly Jimenez)

Holly said her husband’s condition declined on Monday so he was moved to an ICU in Portland and put on advanced life support. 

“I was able to see him yesterday as he was getting ready to go to Portland,” Holly said. “I thought he was going to die yesterday morning.” 

Jose’s fight for survival hinges partly upon his need for a rare blood donation. His doctors have been in touch with local blood banks and the Red Cross to try and find it. 

“There is research supporting that the convalescent plasma can be helpful for these patients,” Holly said. “He has a rare blood type which is AB-positive. We are also looking for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered—have been symptom- and fever-free for at least 14 days.” 

Jose and Holly Jimenez with four of their six children. (Courtesy of Holly Jimenez)

According to the American Red Cross, “convalescent plasma has specific antibodies to COVID-19 making it a potentially lifesaving treatment for those with serious COVID-19 infections.”

Holly said they’ve been working to find the specific donation for several days. She recently posted about the need on Facebook and said many people have offered to help. 

“But they may be out-of-state or they might be A-positive or another blood type and have recovered,” she said. “But we are looking for specifically a perfect match.” 

If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, and are interested in helping Jose or others with COVID-19, please click here.

You can also support Jose and Holly by donating here.

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