An Arlington family is happy to share the news that not only did they fully recover from COVID-19 but they're now able to help other patients by donating plasma.
In mid-March, music pastor Brandon Barton was on the journey of a lifetime, a mission trip to Israel.
Within 24 hours of returning home to his family on March 13, symptoms of the new coronavirus set in.
"I had a little bit of a cough. I had a fever that was 102.5 for about four straight days and Tylenol didn't help," said Barton.
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He tested positive for COVID-19 and soon all three of his children got sick too.
Doctors presumed they all had the new coronavirus infection, which meant weeks of self-quarantine.
But for the most part, the Bartons said their bout wasn't as bad as what some other patients are going through.
"My heart breaks for them. That's why I wanted to give plasma," said Barton.
Researchers are testing the use of donated blood as a treatment for people with severe COVID-19.
People who've recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies to the disease in their blood.
Doctors call this convalescent plasma.
Researchers hope that convalescent plasma can be given to people with severe COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus.
Barton was one of the first North Texans to meet the criteria to donate antibody-rich plasma.
He fully recovered and tested negative twice before being allowed to donate on Monday.
"I can give again in 28 days and I will," said Barton, who said he was told his donated plasma would be used to help treat a single patient.
He added that if there is a way to help anyone suffering, he will do it.
His wife Allison echoes the sentiment.
"We were all sick and then Brandon was sick and we were all quarantined, but separated within our house. We got to see the community be the hands and feet of Jesus for us and we are just thankful that Brandon could pay that forward."
There is an urgent need to find qualified plasma donors. Visit the UT Southwestern COVID-19 Plasma Program for details.