Difference Makers: Fremont Teen Helps COVID-19 Patients

An East Bay high school student is collecting donations for convalescent plasma to help treat COVID-19 patients.

When Tanish Sathish, 14, conducted research on COVID-19 for a school project, he discovered a need for convalescent plasma, the liquid portion of blood collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19.

"I realized it was very unknown," Sathish said.

Sathish is a rising sophomore at Irvington High School in Fremont. He’s teamed us with the American Red Cross to call on donors. His campaign is called Plasma4COVID.

"I know a lot of people that have gotten COVID-19 and some of their relatives have passed away from it. It’s all around me. It’s affecting the entire world, so this is one of the ways that I can help out during this situation," he said.

His research shows recovered patients form antibodies, which are found in plasma. When transfused, the antibodies can help patients recover against the virus.

Sathish said recovered COVID-19 patients can have a direct impact on those currently battling the virus. 

"It helps the virus stop attacking the cells," he explained.

Although convalescent plasma has been deemed a viable way to treat COVID-19 patients, Sathish said there is still little action to get recovered patients to donate their plasma.

"For a lot of us this is the first time in our life time that a pandemic has occurred, so I think it’s a great opportunity to use our voices to try to find solutions," he said.

So far, nearly two dozen people have pledged to donate their plasma.

To donate, visit this website.

If you know someone who is working to keep us safe during the COVID-19 crisis and would like to nominate them as a KCBS Difference Maker, email us.