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Jim Edmonds talks about his recovery from COVID-19 and donating plasma

Jim Edmonds talks about his recovery from COVID-19 and donating plasma

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Former St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds donated potentially life-saving plasma on Tuesday after recovering from the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Edmonds, 49, was filmed donating blood at Mercy St. Louis and encouraging others who have recovered from COVID-19 to do the same. Plasma will be separated from his blood and used to treat three patients unable to fight off infection.

“Hopefully more people will do this, and help as many people as possible,” Edmonds said.

Several local blood banks and hospitals are collecting blood donations from volunteer donors who tested positive and have been symptom-free for at least 28 days as part of an investigational therapy.

“It basically taking one person’s immune system response and translating that into another person’s body,” said Dr. Emily Schindler, medical director of Mercy Blood Donor Services in St. Louis.

Edmonds, also a St. Louis Cardinals analyst for Fox Sports Midwest, also described how he first got sick.

After feeling a “little rundown,” he said he suddenly went three nights with no sleep and couldn’t breathe. He called his doctor.

“I called him and said, ‘Hey, I just need to get checked out. I can’t breathe anymore, and it’s getting pretty scary,” Edmonds said.

His doctor sent him to the emergency room, where he tested positive. He was “pretty sick” for three or four days with pneumonia and a cough.

“Everyone says it’s not going to happen to me, and then finally you lay there and think, ‘Oh man, it’s happening to me and what if I don’t get help? Am I going to be one of those statistics?’” he said.

Edmonds said giving blood was easy. Schindler said it takes about an hour. The plasma will be frozen and can be stored up to a year.

She said every recovered patient they’ve contacted has been willing to donate.

Schindler said, “It’s been really great to see our whole community come together.”

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