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COVID-19 survivor who received plasma is encouraging other survivors to give back

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A COVID-19 survivor who received a plasma transfusion is speaking out to encourage other survivors to give back.  

“It was very difficult it was life or death,” said Raul Ozaeta. “When I tested positive, I was really sick, I felt like a train ran over me.” 

Ozaeta got tested for COVID-19 on July 13. At the time he said he was feeling extreme fatigue, but didn’t have any flu-like symptoms at first. Despite having a fever or shortness of breath, Ozaeta’s wife Norma suggested they both get tested. Three days later Ozaeta tested positive for COVID-19. 

“By then I had fever, chills, chills so strong they made me scream. It was horrible,” said Ozaeta. “I had high fevers from 102 to 104, almost 105 for two weeks.” 

Ozaeta said pneumonia developed in his left lung, but doctors sent him home to quarantine. He said it felt like his symptoms just wouldn’t go away. It was days and nights of profusely sweating. It even got to the point where he felt like his brain was shutting down.  

“When I went again to St. Francis hospital, they did x-rays and my lungs were really bad, they were in a lot of pain, from 1 to 10 it was a 10,” said Ozaeta. “The nurse was so amazing, I will never forget her, she told me ‘Raul, you’re not going down on my watch.’ and she looked like a soldier.”

Ozaeta said while his wife did test positive for the virus as well she didn’t have chronic symptoms as he did. Ozaeta said after having the virus for two weeks without a sign of improvement he wasn’t sure if he’d make it, but it was a plasma transfusion that helped his health take a turn in the right direction.

“The plasma really made a difference, it gave my body a chance to fight,” said Ozaeta.

Ozaeta spent 11 days in the hospital, but now he is on his final day of quarantine. He said as soon as he becomes eligible to donate plasma he will and he encourages other COVID-19 survivors to do the same.

“Out of one person, can save two or three lives and that’s very important, there’s a lot of parents, grandparents, a lot of sons and daughters in the hospital with COVID-19 and it is so important that they get back to their loved ones,” said Ozaeta.

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