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Blues announcer Kelly donating plasma for coronavirus study

Fully recovered after testing positive, overcoming double pneumonia

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

John Kelly, the play-by-play announcer for St. Louis Blues telecasts on FOX Sports Midwest, is donating plasma for a study that will help determine whether antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients can help those who have the disease.

Kelly was diagnosed with double pneumonia in mid-March and the Blues said March 27 that he'd tested positive for the coronavirus. He is fully recovered and will donate plasma for the study Friday at the American Red Cross.

"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 the Blues website. "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."

The NHL paused its season March 12 because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 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 it again.

Kelly stressed that people should follow social distancing guidelines provided by authorities and continue to take this coronavirus seriously.

"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 percent 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."

Kelly is spending time with his family, with activities including board games, badminton outside and rewatching games from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, when the Blues won their first championship since entering the NHL in 1967.

"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," said Kelly, who's done play-by-play for Blues games since 2006. "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 [titles].

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

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