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Oklahoma's First COVID-19 Patient Helping However He Can

Posted at 4:15 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 19:58:07-04

TULSA, Okla. — In early March, Governor Stitt announced the first person had tested positive for Coronavirus in Oklahoma. That patient was Curtis Barone, who went on to make a full recovery.

Barone was on a trip to London and Rome with his family, visiting his son who was studying abroad.

One week after Barone got back, he fell ill. He says he was the only one in his family to have any symptoms.

“We didn’t think I had it, because I only showed one of the three symptoms they were talking about at the time, which was a fever,” Barone said.

Two days passed after his positive test, and the symptoms began to fade. Just days after that, they were completely gone. He tested negative, twice, and had officially recovered.

Five and a half weeks passed in which one of his immediate family members was quarantined. In that time, Barone began looking for ways to help others who had gotten sick.

He found out about donating plasma for other COVID-19-positive patients, and worked with Ascension St. John in Tulsa to do so.

A local patient was on a ventilator for a week, and received Barone's transplant. Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Anuj Malik says she’s now off the ventilator, stable, and making a steady recovery.

"My suspicion is it did help to a certain extent, and also it likely has the potential of helping," Dr, Malik said. "It makes sense that someone who has recovered will develop antibodies against the virus."

Dr. Malik says around 80 COVID-19 patients in the US have received a plasma transplant so far. He also says everyone should keep a high vigilance for symptoms, and isolate yourself right away from those around you if you begin to feel sick.

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