BEAUMONT, Texas — One Nederland family knows all too well how important convalescent plasma is to some who are battling COVID-19 in the hospital.
The demand is high, and the Cawley family spoke to 12News about how one donation can make all the difference.
Right now, Jennifer Cawley's mother Karen, is fighting for her life.
"She's in a chemically induced coma, fighting for her life right now," Cawley said.
Cawley said her mom Karen began showing COVID-19 symptoms about a week ago. Christmas Day is when things took a turn for the worst.
"Christmas morning I woke up and definitely didn't expect this to happen," Cawley said.
Karen was rushed to the hospital. Doctors wanted her to receive convalescent plasma on Saturday. The supply was short, and she didn't get it until Monday night.
"Because it took so long to get to her she has some potentially irreparable lung damage," Cawley said.
Karen is 62 years old, and is soon to be a grandmother.
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"She has been pestering me so long for a grandbaby, and I am so excited to be able to give her one and I just really want her to pull through and get to see her granddaughter and get to do all those wonderful things," Cawley said.
In an effort to help her mother and others fighting COVID-19 in the hospital, Jennifer connected with LifeShare.
Jennifer Ybarra is with LifeShare Blood Center.
She said they are having a hard time right now keeping up with the hospital's demand for convalescent blood.
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"The hospitals are ordering like 30 units at a time and we don't have that many we are not getting that many donations," Ybarra said.
It's one of the reasons Bill Dixon is donating.
"If I can help them in any way I will, because I was very fortunate," Dixon said.
He said we can't afford to have plasma in high demand but a limited supply.
"When I had COVID I had a friend that needed the plasma right away," Dixon said.
Right now, the Cawley family is hoping for a miracle. They pray no other family will have to experience this pain.
"I just think she has so much more to give to the world and I just want her to have that opportunity," Cawley said.
If you want to donate, call LifeShare to set up an appointment.
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes to make a plasma donation.
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