By CNN staff | January 18, 2021 at 2:12 PM EST – Updated January 18 at 4:58 PM
(CNN) – A spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States has led to a national shortage of convalescent plasma – blood plasma taken from people who have recovered from COVID-19.
It has antibodies that can help those who are sick from the virus.
Amanda Solt, a COVID-19 survivor, mother of four and paramedic, understands the importance of it.
“I knew something was wrong,” she said as she developed a small cough, fever and body aches.
But, when Solt struggled to breathe at the end of June, she knew it was time to go to the hospital.
“I had the feeling of impending doom,” Solt said. “That’s the best way I can describe it.”
She was moved to the intensive care unit after days of further decline.
A nurse took a picture with Solt.
“The nurse, she came in and said, ‘I’m going to get your phone and we’re going to take a selfie,’ according to Solt. “Said we’re going to document this because this is going to save your life. And, it did. It really, really did.”
Part of her treatment was convalescent plasma.
“It gave me the strength to fight it,” she said.
With COVID-19 cases spiking across the country, the American Red Cross says this plasma is in short supply.
“COVID-19 donors are still needed now to ensure patients have access to all treatment options including convalescent plasma to help the patients beat the virus,” according to Dr. Erin Goodhue with the American Red Cross.
After three weeks and two days in a Georgia hospital, Solt went home a survivor.
“Amazing feeling. Amazing,” she said. “To get another chance at life and that’s exactly what I got.”
Anyone interested in donating plasma or blood can schedule an appointment with the American Red Cross by visiting redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross blood donor app or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
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