Andy Brown - Culina Group (1)

Culina Group organisational design chief Andy Brown, who contracted COVID-19 in early March, is playing a key role in helping research into the virus and the development of a vaccine

Brown has been asked by the NHS Blood and Transplant service to donate convalescent plasma which researchers are hoping may be used to treat new patients with COVID-19.

Brown said: “A doctor from The NHS Blood and Transplant Service (NHSBT) contacted me as a survivor. The doctor explained that people like me who have fully recovered from COVID-19 potentially have antibodies in their blood which can fight the virus. This could help patients currently ill.”

He added: “Originally, they asked me to donate blood, at the NHS Blood and Transplant Service in Leicester. It was all very new to them as I was the first COVID-19 patient they had. Doctors then contacted me again just over a week later and asked if I would like to voluntarily donate convalescent plasma. I would be the first patient to do this at the Birmingham NHSBT facility according to the Blood Trust.

“For me it is such a privilege to donate plasma which will be used to support others. I am just thankful that I am able to give something back to the NHS as a thank you for the care and support I received during my own unpleasant experience with what is now a global pandemic."

The NHSBT is waiting on approval for the therapy trial, which if fully approved, will investigate whether convalescent plasma transfusions could improve a COVID-19 patient's speed of recovery and chances of survival.

Donors for this procedure must have tested positive for the illness either at home or in hospital and should be three to four weeks into their recovery.

Richard Berry, Culina Group HR director added: “This is a fantastic and positive story at a time when they are much needed. All of us at Culina Group are happy that Andy is well and we are very proud that he is contributing to the valuable research being carried out by the NHS Blood and Transplant Service.”