Woman donates plasma to aunt, another man after recovering from COVID-19

When Marisa Leuzzi first visited her doctor back in March, she was wrongly diagnosed with the flu. She believed there was something else going on.

Leuzzi became her own advocate, believing that she had the coronavirus and eventually went to a testing site to try to confirm her suspicions.

“It was very hard to get tested due to the shortage of tests, I grew up with asthma so because of all the severe symptoms with respiratory issues, I wanted to get tested because of peace of mind,” said Leuzzi during an appearance on Good Day Philadelphia.

It’s a good thing she did - because she tested positive.

Within days of recovering from the virus, she decided to donated blood plasma, eventually saving the lives of her aunt and another complete stranger. She said the process of donating was very easy.


“It’s very similar to donating blood. It’s completely painless. The only thing is that is a little bit different is that it takes a little bit longer. I was in and out in about 2 hours or so.”

After she donated the blood to her aunt, her family saw some instant improvements in the health of her aunt.

“The transfusion, we saw improvements in her blood oxygen levels within about 5 hours or so, and then the next 5 days, we saw all her vitals pretty much improve and stabilize.”


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Dr. Lukasz Polisiakiewicz, a doctor from Virtua Voorhees Hospital, treated Leuzzi’s aunt as one of his patients. When they reached out to him about plasma donations, he said he would be able to help. He was surprised on how quickly the recovery happened and wasn’t sure why it happened that way.

“The honest answer is I don’t know. Marisa donated to two people, she donated to my patient and also my colleague’s patient and they both got better relatively quickly which we actually weren’t expecting. So the honest answer is I don’t know, we were of the opinion that Marisa’s transfusion helped these two patients. But going forward, some of the medical community is going to scrutinize because we want to give people hope. Plasma has a great potential, but you know doctors, we like to approach things very cautiously.”

While Dr. Luke is hopeful about the plasma donations, he still warns people that following the CDC guidelines for the coronavirus is still the best way to go for now.

As for her aunt, Leuzzi says she’s doing well and is in great spirits and that she had been able to talk to her during the week.

“She’s doing very good. This week, she was actually discharged from the hospital. She was taken to a local rehabilitation center. She’ll be doing some therapy and just gaining her strength back and finish her recovery.”


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