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Arkansas nurse donates plasma, returns to work after recovering from COVID-19

"They just take part of your blood— they give the rest of it back to you. It's a real easy process and it's an easy way to save a life," Nurse Shawn Raney said.

PINE BLUFF, Ark. — Married with two teenage sons, Shawn Raney is happy to be on the road to recovery after contracting COVID-19.

"I just feel blessed. I was lucky enough my family wasn't exposed to it."

Around March 11th, Shawn started experiencing symptoms that he knew weren't your average cold.

"Noticed a loss of a sense of smell and taste. My smell is still affected, still now about a month out…"

Raney is a registered nurse at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he's worked for the past 15 years. It's where the state saw its first positive case of COVID-19. 

After his test results came back, he got his confirmation. He had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

RELATED: Texas man donates five bags of plasma after recovering from coronavirus

Once he was sure that donating plasma was an option, Raney knew it was something he wanted to do. 

On Friday, when he recovered from the virus, he donated his convalescent plasma at the Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) and said it was easy and didn't take up much of his time.

The Arkansas Blood Institute said in the last week, seven people have donated plasma— but they already need more. 

"Plasma that contains these anti-bodies we are trying to provide this therapy for patients whose bodies have not been as successful," said Dr. Tina Ipe with the UAMS.

RELATED: COVID-19 survivors can now help those still battling the virus

Tonight, Shawn's back at work doing what he does best: Helping others.

And he has this message of encouragement for those who may also be on their road to recovery.  

"Don't be stingy. Help us out in this fight. You don't have to be a nurse. You don't have to be a doctor to help save lives in this. You can just give blood. Just donate your plasma. They just take part of your blood, they give the rest of it back to you. It's a real easy process and it's an easy way to save a life."

Someone can donate plasma within 14 days of recovery of COVID-19.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and would like to help others, you can learn more about registering to donate plasma here.

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