MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WFIE) - Baptist Health Hospital in Hopkins County has been testing an antibody treatment on eligible COVID-19 patients.
One of these patients includes Madisonville resident Alvin Cummings.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not," Cummings said. “All I thought about was my family.”
Cummings started experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus just 11 days before his 76th birthday.
“I couldn’t hardly breathe, I was struggling to get air," Cummings said. “So this went on for awhile and my wife asked me maybe you need to go to the hospital."
Afterwards, Cummings tested positive for pneumonia and doctors decided to test him for COVID-19 as well.
“They came back in a few hours and said, ‘Yes, you have tested positive for the virus,’" Cummings said.
He was then given an option to receive an antibody treatment, which wasn’t guaranteed to help him recover, but Cummings was ready to take the chance.
“If it would help me, and help our community, and help the medical profession, I’m all for it," Cummings said.
Dr. Stacey Miller says a total of five people have gotten treated with the coronavirus antibody treatment at Madisonville Baptist Health, and all five seem to have benefited from it.
“There are risks, primarily you have the risk of a reaction," Dr. Miller said. “So the plasma is screened and matched to the patient prior to infusion, but there is still a chance of having something called a transfusion reaction. That is pretty low after they’ve done the screening, but it is possible."
Dr. Miller feels the antibody treatment can be a positive option for people who contract the virus.
“It’s not going to be a one size fit all," Dr. Miller said. “It’s certainly a treatment option that we have. It’s still investigational though, so there are those risks. We won’t know how effective it is until we have all the data from all the patients that are transfused."
As for Cummings, he’s grateful he took the chance.
“I give the medical professionals here at Baptist Health the highest regards, they took very good care of me," Cummings said. “But above all that, I give my Lord and savior the most credit.”
For those who have recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate plasma, you can call the research investigator at Baptist Health Hosptial, Jennifer Miller, at 270-326-4813. She will discuss the process with you and potentially identify you as a donor.