SUCCESS STORY: First patient in NWA receives COVID-19 treatment with convalescent plasma

Joplin Area Coronavirus

Courtesy of KNWA

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Northwest Arkansas woman who’s been fighting COVID-19 becomes the first in our area to be treated using plasma donated from recovered COVID-19 patients.

Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stephen Hennigan said 48-year-old Mirna Marquez’s remarkable recovery from COVID-19 is what medicine is all about.

COURTESY OF CLAUDIA RAMOS

Marquez was at the Northwest Medical Center in Springdale for 14 days — 10 of those, she was on a ventilator.

Dr. Hennigan said the hospital received some convalescent plasma taken from a recovered COVID-19 patient that contains the antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

In about four and a half days after she got her dose, she was off the ventilator and was doing great.

DR. STEPHEN HENNIGAN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST
COURTESY OF NORTHWEST HEALTH

Since Marquez was extremely sick, Dr. Hennigan was able to administer the plasma through a blood transfusion — ultimately saving her life.

“It’s the greatest privilege in taking care of patients, being apart of their recovery, their victory over a really hard time in their lives,” Dr. Hennigan said.

On Monday, April 20, the Northwest Medical Center (Springdale) staff lined the hallway to cheer for Marquez as she was escorted to her family following her recovery from COVID-19.

“I [am] really happy to be back at home with my kids,” Marquez said.

COURTESY OF CLAUDIA RAMOS

Marquez primarily speaks Spanish, so her oldest daughter — Claudia Ramos — translated for KNWA/KFTA.

She is so thankful for all the people that took care of her in those moments.

CLAUDIA RAMOS, MARQUEZ’S DAUGHTER

KNWA/KFTA asked Marquez what’s the one thing she would want to say to the people who helped save her life — her response was an emotional response.

“She calls them her angels from heaven,” Ramos said. “They are always going to hold a special place in her heart.”

COURTESY OF SALVADOR ZUBIETA

Although the Marquez family is extremely grateful for the hard work of the doctors and the success of this method, their hearts go out to those who aren’t as fortunate.

“Whenever she went in, there was couple of other people who also went in,” Ramos said. “Unfortunately their end wasn’t what hers was.”

She feels for those families as well.

CLAUDIA RAMOS, MARQUEZ’S DAUGHTER

Dr. Hennigan said he thinks this success story will spark a domino effect, and many more COVID-19 patients’ lives will be saved by this method.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories