On NBC's medical drama "New Amsterdam," Ryan Eggold plays a bold doctor, taking risks, healing patients.
With the TV show tackling the pandemic in upcoming episodes, Eggold is using his own personal experience with the coronavirus to help his role. In the real world, he is a COVID-19 survivor, determined to help real-world doctors save and cure other COVID patients.
"My experience was not severe. It was unenjoyable, certainly. I had a lot of flu-like symptoms," Eggold said. “I heard that people were donating plasma and that people were collecting these antibodies.”
At the suggestion of his sister – who is a nurse – Eggold decided to donate his plasma. He hooked up with the team at Mount Sinai Hospital working on a new plasma donation program. They hope to develop a treatment that not only heals people with COVID but also protects people who have been exposed, and potentially helps people who are not able to get the vaccine when it becomes available.
"What we’re doing with Ryan’s help and many other wonderful donors is we’re collecting plasma from these donors and we’re working with another partner to purify the antibodies in the plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19,” said Dr. David Reich of Mount Sinai Hospital.
Those who want to donate will need to be between age 18 to 65 and have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, as well as have fully recovered. They will also need to have a high concentration of antibodies.
"It’s really an easy process. The most terrifying part of the process is you have to get a quick needle in the finger which nobody likes, but no it's really fine," Eggold joked.
Like many other TV shows and films, the production of "New Amsterdam" had to halt because of COVID, but it begins again next week.
"To donate and participate and help out I think is a great sort of cross over between the drama and the theatrical elements of telling that story and the reality that we are in this pandemic and we are in it together," Eggold said.
He’s hoping other COVID survivors will follow his lead and donate.
"I think that so many of us are sitting at home, watching the news, feeling powerless, feeling like there’s nothing we can do, feeling like when is this gonna end how can we get through it, and I think this is an amazing opportunity to do something about it," he added.
Anyone interested in plasma donation can contact Mount Sinai Hospital for more information.