Lincoln man recovers from COVID-19, donates plasma to help new patients

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 6:38 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over 42,000 Nebraskans have recovered from COVID-19 and one Lincoln man is one of many who is donating plasma to help others. According to the Red Cross, convalescent plasma can help as many as three COVID patients per donation.

Terry Sebora spent 41 days in the Bryan Health system recovering from COVID-19. Once he found out there was another way to help out other COVID patients, he was fully on board with pitching in.

Sebora said, “When I went in, I was in critical condition. Twelve days on a ventilator and a total of 41 days in the hospital.” A six week period where his wife of 49 years, Colleen Sebora, was unable to be by his side.

“He was in the hospital for 41 days and I didn’t see him for 41 days," she said.

Terry is one of the first COVID patients in Lincoln. He is now trying to help current and future cases. He donates convalescent plasma every other week to the Nebraska Community Blood Bank. According to health experts from Mayo Clinic, convalescent plasma may lessen symptoms and length of stay. Bryan Health officials said they have a good amount of plasma for its patients.

“We have been able to provide the convalescent plasma to our patients quickly - often a few hours after the decision to transfuse the plasma,” Bryan Health pathologist Dr. Aina Silenieks said.

Health officials said more testing is still needed to determine the effectiveness, but it hasn’t stopped Terry from donating not once, not twice, but five times since August. This means Terry could be helping as many as 15 patients as of Wednesday.

“I certainly feel satisfied that the pain and suffering, if you will, that I went through was not for nothing,” Terry Sebora said.

“I don’t want anybody to go through what we as a family went through with COVID," Colleen Sebora said. "I’m sorry. So, if he could help, one person or a thousand, it’s worth it.”

When Terry left Bryan Health on May 11, he wrote a note thanking the doctors for saving his life and he hopes to do the same for others in the future.

Terry said he’s able to donate plasma every two weeks and will continue doing so until he doesn’t have the antibodies necessary.

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