Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Chatham-Kent’s first COVID-19 case donating plasma

A local man, who was Chatham-Kent’s first positive case of COVID-19, is donating plasma after his recovery from the virus.

“I want to turn a bad thing into something good,” Wayne Authier, 52, told the CK Public Health in a testimonial.

Authier said he was shocked when he learned that he was the first positive case of novel coronavirus (now COVID-19) in Chatham-Kent, after he returned from holiday in early March 2020 before the pandemic had been declared.

After feeling unwell for a couple of days during his mandatory self-isolation period, he tested positive for the virus.

The first experience he had with CK Public Health was a personal phone call from Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health.

“It was an honest and blunt conversation, but I understand why it had to happen,” Authier told the CK Public Health Unit.

CK Public Health officials said less than 24 hours after the call, Authier was phoned by a Public Health Nurse, who assisted in contact tracing, health monitoring and updates.

“CK Public Health gave me lots of good advice and ensured I was doing okay,” Authier said.

“They checked up on me every other day, while at the same time giving me space to recover from the virus.”

After 17 days of quarantine, and two months recovered, Authier wanted to give back to public health for assisting in his recovery, CK Public Health officials say.

He was reading a news article online when he noticed an advertisement from Canadian Blood Services for the convalescent plasma donation program: specifically for those who had recovered from COVID-19.

“During my illness, I experienced outrage and anger towards me from strangers,” Authier said.

“I’m not a bad person and wanted to turn my bad experience into something good. If I can help with a cure or vaccine, then I would like to help.”

CK Public Health officials said after filling out a form on Canadian Blood Services’ website, Authier went through a series of interviews and questions from Canadian Blood Services.

Once the information was verified, he received a call that he was a successful candidate for plasma donation.

Donating plasma as a former COVID-19 patient is beneficial to public health, as plasma contains antibodies used to fight the virus, CK Public Health officials say.

Researchers can use these antibodies to help develop a potential treatment or vaccination for COVID-19.

“I am grateful to CK Public Health for looking after me the way they did,” Authier said.

“They have and remain to do a good job during the COVID-19 pandemic. I realize one case was a handful and now more, I have sympathy and respect for the time and effort.”

Authier will be donating plasma through the Canadian Blood Services at the Canadian Cross in London on May 30.

For more information on the convalescent plasma donation program, visit the Canadian Blood Services’ Convalescent Plasma page or phone 1-888-236-6283.

To learn more about COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent, visit the CK Public Health website or phone the COVID-19 line at 519-355-1071 ext. 1900.

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