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Kelly to donate plasma for COVID-19 study

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

FOX Sports Midwest play-by-play announcer John Kelly will participate in a study that will help determine whether antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients can help those who are still battling the disease.

Kelly was diagnosed with double pneumonia in March and later tested positive for the coronavirus, but has now fully recovered and will donate plasma for the study.

"A friend of mine at Washington University reached out to me and said they were doing a study like they are at places all over the world, and they feel there's a really strong chance that people with antibodies for COVID-19 can help others who are still battling it," Kelly told stlouisblues.com. "You donate blood, they extract your plasma and inject that plasma into very sick patients. The studies show that a lot of people that are sick are getting better because they're using a recovered person's antibodies to fight off the virus.

"If I can make one person better, that's fantastic."

While studies are still being conducted to confirm it, doctors and scientists reasonably believe that a person who has developed antibodies while recovering from COVID-19 are likely to be protected - at least for some time - from getting the virus again.

Kelly will donate plasma for the study at the American Red Cross on May 1. He stressed that people should follow social distancing guidelines provided by authorities and continue to take this virus seriously.

Video: John Kelly discusses positive test for COVID-19

"I was feeling really, really bad when I went to an urgent care facility and had pneumonia in both lungs," Kelly said. "The doctor tested me for the coronavirus but he didn't feel I had it because I didn't have some of the classic symptoms. My test results didn't come back for 10 or 11 days, and when it did come back positive, I was probably back up to 90% feeling better. I think I'm glad I didn't know early on that I had the virus because I've read that those who develop pneumonia a lot of times have to go to the hospital and need a ventilator. Things can get really bad."

While he waits for hockey to return, Kelly is getting to spend more time with his wife and kids. His daughters have returned home while they wait for college classes to resume, and his son has had more time off from work lately. Family activities right now include board games like Monopoly, badminton outside and rewatching games from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I'm as big of a fan of sports as anyone. I'm a huge fan of hockey, and not just because I'm a broadcaster," Kelly said. "I can't wait for the first time we see hockey again and to get back to some kind of normalcy and finish this season. I want to see the Blues defend their Stanley Cup championship and hopefully win back to back.

"That's what we all hope for and hopefully that happens at some point this summer."

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