Caribbean News, Latin America News:
News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Tues. Aug. 25, 2020: A Caribbean-born doctor feels strongly that convalescent plasma helped save his life after spending 87 days in a coma and on a ventilator suffering from COVID-19.
Haitian immigrant Dr. Vladimir Laroche, told CBS Miami Monday that after receiving the plasma as part of his larger treatment to help battle the virus, he began feeling better.
In April, his family made sure he got the convalescent plasma as things began looking grim with little sign of improvement.
He said the family is pleased the FDA issued “emergency use authorization” for convalescent plasma. It will allow widespread use without requiring authorization.
Dr. Laroche and his family are grateful they got approval early on calling it a lifesaver. He knows he has a long journey ahead and plans to work hard to get his strength back.
Dr. Laroche, 68, has devoted nearly four decades to saving lives as an internal medicine doctor. In March, he was admitted to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, with worsening symptoms of the highly contagious respiratory illness.
His brother Paul Laroche, who works in psychotherapy, fought hard to save his brother’s life. He even set up a non-profit database network called Heal As One, to help other COVID-19 patients find matching plasma donors.
Dr. Laroche was the first in Florida to receive a covalescent plasma donation. It came from Basil Binns, a COVID-19 survivor whom he met days after he was released from the hospital.
Paul Laroche also donated a handful of iPads to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center so patients can communicate with their families amid the coronavirus crisis.
“I made a deal with God, and I told God if my brother could get back safe and sound, I will do everything I can to help the situation,” Laroche said. “Both of us are keeping up our ends of the bargain.”
Dr Laroche, who plans to write a book with his brother about their shared experiences with COVID-19, said he is grateful to the medical staff and administration at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center for saving his life.
You can find out more about donating convalescent plasma from OneBlood.