Upon meeting her for the first time, COVID survivor Scott Cohen gave Abbie Park a big hug with no hesitation — and even in the age of coronavirus, it seemed perfectly appropriate.
In late March, Cohen was dying in the hospital, one of many throughout the region and the country who were struck by a virus that no one knew how to properly treat.
"There was not much left for them to do for me, all the conventional treatments failed," Cohen said.
But his family pushed for alternative treatments, especially using convalescent plasma from someone who had recovered from COVID.
"They started a petition online and got 20,000 signatures in 24 hours, who in turn allowed plasma to be used on an emergency basis to treat me," said Cohen.
Thankfully, Park was able to help. She had recently recovered from COVID and had donated plasma. Her blood was used to give Cohen a fighting chance at fighting the virus that since has killed 210,000 around the country.
"I feel great, I feel happy. I feel sad, Scott you're probably still recovering. I feel happy that I can help," Park said.
Cohen credits her with saving his life. The two met for the first time on Tuesday, but hope to keep in touch — perhaps the start of a lasting friendship etched during one of the most difficult times many will ever see.
"I really implore everyone out there, I know that convalescent plasma is not the fix-all for every person, I am living proof standing here for anyone who says it doesn't," Cohen said.