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Father, Son Recovered from COVID-19 Donate Plasma to Help in Fight Against Virus

By Tiffany DeMasters
February 27, 2021, 6:06 PM HST
* Updated February 27, 7:01 PM
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A father and son recovered from COVID-19 have stepped up to fight the virus by donating convalescent plasma that will be used to help treat current patients suffering from the disease.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Kincaid Krizek and his 18-year-old son participated in the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i’s (BBH) Drive at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kona. The Kawaihae man said he didn’t even think twice about providing a donation.

“There’s a chance you could save someone’s life,” Krizek said Wednesday. “Not everyone handles the disease the same way so you might be giving someone a second chance at life who’s in the hospital right now.”

BBH hopes to continue to draw out more donors like Krizek and his son in an effort to increase the state’s supply of convalescent plasma as powerful antibodies in the plasma can help sick patients win their own fight against the virus.

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Krizek and his family became sick with coronavirus after a ski trip to Utah in February 2020. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic the following month.

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“At the time we didn’t know it was COVID,” Krizek said, “we thought we were just sick.”

Krizek explained his son came down with a high fever, he suffered from a cough and his wife lost her taste for food. They ultimately recovered without having to be hospitalized.

In April of 2020, the Krizeks decided to obtain a COVID-19 antibody test. All three tested positive.

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Krizek had heard about plasma donations from recovered COVID patients as a possible treatment for those currently suffering from the virus. After learning BBH was taking such donations, the Krizek family flew to Honolulu in July of 2020 to provide a donation. Krizek’s wife, unfortunately, was ineligible to give plasma.

“I felt like it was something I should do,” Krizek said, adding as a human being it was his duty to help.

Since the start of the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i’s Convalescent Plasma program (CCP) in March 2020, officials say they have had 285 CCP donors participate in the program. BBH has collected 2,564 doses to help patients struggling to fight COVID-19. Since each patient receives two doses as part of their therapy for COVID-19, BBH has been able to help 1,282 patients.

BBH has distributed 1,240 CCP doses locally to 11 hospitals across the state. Due to the support of local donors, BBH has also been able to contribute to the national stockpile of CCP on the mainland.

In January, BBH launched its “Fight COVID with COVID” campaign to draw in more donors. In preparation for a future surge or a highly-transmissible strain of COVID, BBH officials add, it is imperative that Hawai‘i increases its local plasma inventory until a vaccine is widely distributed.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a reporter for Big Island Now. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.
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