MUMBAI: Bhushan Vartak (45) has been a frontline warrior since Covid-19 struck and continues as one by defeating corona and donating plasma to help a patient fight the virus. Vartak is now encouraging friends who recovered to donate plasma. “All recovered patients should go in for it. It is the best reply to Covid-19,” he said.
Vartak, a BMC employee, handles maintenance at a quarantine centre in Kurar village, Malad (E). He is the first recovered patient who donated plasma to Sathiya Trust Blood Bank in Nalasopara (W) on Wednesday. The bank is the first in Mumbai metropolitan region (MMR) to arrange a donor and supply plasma to a critically ill patient.
A resident of Devale village in Vasai (W), Vartak tested positive on May 5. He probably contracted the virus at the quarantine centre. He used to travel to work on his motorcycle.
Ten days after testing negative he was under home quarantine. His family of five and a friend were among those who were isolated.
Vartak said he had some knowledge about plasma therapy but had not thought about donating till he got a call from the blood bank. “I have never even donated blood and here I was offering plasma to a serious patient,” said Vartak.
After a positive response from his family, doctors explained how the antibodies in his plasma could help a serious patient fight the virus. “The mental satisfaction after the donation erased memories of isolation,” said the convalescent plasma donor, who returned to work on Thursday, a day after the donation.
While appealing to recovered patients to donate plasma, Vartak said the 45 minutes taken for donation was spent watching TV and cracking jokes. He said he never felt weakness and is waiting for the plasma recipient to recover. “It will be a bigger victory against Covid after that is back on his feet. To help save a life is something I want to cherish for a lifetime,” said Vartak. His wife Aarti encouraged him to do the good deed.

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