From COVID-19 patient to plasma donor

Reza Huzairi Zainuddin

By Syamsiah Sahat

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 -- Nothing could be happier for a recovered COVID-19 patient than knowing plasma from his blood can help treat others who shared his fate as covid-19 patients.

Knowing his blood plasma could help heal other COVID-19 sufferers filled Reza Huzairi Zainuddin, 41, with pride and gratitude.

“I am overwhelmed and proud that allah replaced my sadness in 2020 with the opportunity to help other patients by donating my blood plasma,” he told Bernama when contacted here today.

Being the first donor in the country, his blood plasma was found to be powerful, healthy and suitable as well as meeting the criteria for facilitating the treatment of other critical COVID-19 patients.

“During the one-hour long process of collecting my blood plasma at the National Blood Bank on April 2, I had the opportunity to ask the doctor many questions on treating the infection using blood plasma from COVID-19 patients who had recovered.

“Not everyone is qualified for plasma donation. The donor must be free from any chronic illness, not on any long-term medication and completely healthy. I went for the screening and I am thankful that my blood plasma fitted the bill,” he said.

Reza Huzairi said, considering his weight of 65 kilogrammes, the amount of plasma that could be collected from his blood at any one time was only 500 ml which could be used to help several patients.

Thus, he planned to donate again in two weeks as long as the doctor permitted so that more patients would benefit.

He said the plasma would be used to build a serum which is then injected into critically ill COVID-19 patients to help their body fight the deadly virus.

However, he was also told that optimum effect could be achieved by those patients with a similar blood type to his.

Hence, he also hoped more former patients would come forward and offer their blood plasma to help the nation to treat thousands of patients to combat the infection.

Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that several recovered COVID-19 patients were willing to donate their blood for a research on COVID-19.

He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) would screen them first to make sure they were free from any other infections such as Hepatitis C.

Meanwhile, on how he was infected, Reza Huzairi, who was the 46th COVID-19 case, said he was tainted during the second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reza Huzairi, who is the senior vice president (Human Capital) of UDA Group Holdings Berhad, said he would never forget the experience of being placed in the Sungai Buloh Hospital (HSB) isolation ward and locked up 24 hours a day for 11 days without being able to see his wife and three sons.

“I have never imagined that I would be in that situation. The feeling of depression was not a trifling... I was anxious about myself, I was also worried about my wife and children at home.

“…and my staff... I was worried if the virus I brought had infected them too. I only rely on Allah Almighty during that time,” he said.

Reza Huzairi said to relieve the pressure, he kept himself busy for 11 days with his usual office work despite being warded.

“Patients must boost their spirit and stay focused on recovering although now and then my body became very tired because the antibodies were working. If it happened, I had to rest. Thank god, my health is good and I don't have any serious symptom,” he said.

He expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the MOH especially to the doctors, nurses and healthcare workers in HSB. He also urged Malaysians to be patient with the current situation and to comply with MOH’s advice particularly on the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“Do not leave the house if there is no very urgent need. We, as Malaysians, can surely do it,” he said.




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