A coronavirus survivor is donating his plasma to speed up recovery time for hospitalised Covid-19 patients.
Teddington father-of-three Danny Freeman is giving his antibodies as part of a clinical trial which assesses the benefits of donated plasma to Covid patients.
Freeman said: “It won’t save their lives but it will help them to recover much quicker.”
Freeman, 56, visits Twickenham Stoop Stadium every couple of weeks to donate his plasma.
He said: “They desperately need it and the trials have helped about 1,000 patients so far.”
“It tends to be the more ill you are, the higher the antibodies you’ve got.
“Evidently my antibodies are really quite high at the moment.”
Freeman has endured an ongoing battle with ‘long Covid’ since returning home from Kingston Hospital in April.
He is suffering from debilitating cognitive problems and constant fatigue.
He said: “My verbal memory is only 16 per cent.
“I really struggle for words and the fatigue comes over in waves.”
For several months, Freeman has undergone physio and occupational therapy and attends a neurological clinic.
But the repercussions of Covid remain ongoing.
He said: “I’m doing all the exercises they tell me to do and I’m still really tired and aching.
“I’m thinking when’s it going to stop?”
Freeman contracted Covid-19 back in March as the Government announced plans for a national lockdown.
He said: “I had a headache, loss of smell, metallic taste, aching all over and a raging temperature.”
Freeman was admitted to Kingston Hospital and spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit.
He later learnt how close he was to death when he spoke to the same doctor who admitted him.
Freeman said: “The doctor told me that had I arrived a few hours later, there would have been long-term damage to my lungs and vital organs.
“I got there just in time.”
Back in April, family and friends celebrated Freeman’s return home, but this was only the beginning of his struggle with the virus.
Almost seven months later, Freeman is on a phased return to his job as education officer for trade union Unite.
Six weeks ago, he was forced to take annual leave because of post-viral fatigue.
He said: “I was trying to see how far I could push myself at work and pretend I was back to normal.
“But I couldn’t go on anymore.”
Freeman shares symptoms of ‘long-Covid’ with two fellow patients who he met on Kingston’s recovery ward in the Spring.
The ‘Three Amigos’, as they named themselves, have remained in touch since meeting in the Spring.
All three patients are experiencing cognitive issues and fatigue.
Freeman said: “None of us have recovered since our bodies fought to save our lives.”
The effects of ‘long Covid’ are becoming increasingly apparent amongst Covid survivors.
On October 7, NHS England announced that specialist assistance will be available to ‘long Covid’ patients as part of a £10 million investment in clinics across the country.
The news comes as a Carshalton resident donated his plasma nine times to aid coronavirus patients.