COVID-19 patient who received convalescent plasma now recovering at home

Author: Anne Marie TiernonPublished: 9:47 PM EDT May 15, 2020

Updated: 12:02 AM EDT May 18, 2020

RENSSELAER, Ind. – Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are being encouraged to donate their plasma, with the hope it contains antibodies that will help seriously-ill patients recover.

Now we’re getting an idea of how that’s playing out. 

At IU Health, 43 patients have received the treatment.

10 have been discharged. 30 are still fighting at the hospital. 3 did not survive.

I talked with one of the first to head home, Dave Falkenburg in Rensselaer about his experience.

“I remember the doctor came in, tells me my condition was getting worse and they were wanting to try a plasma treatment, experimental plasma treatment trial,” Falkenburg said. “I signed the papers.”

Falkenburg doesn’t remember all of his three weeks fighting COVID-19 in the ICU at Methodist Hospital, but he does remember improvement after receiving plasma through an IV, plasma donated by a patient who survived the virus.

“After that, each day got better. I mean, it was amazing the doctors were really astonished about how well I progressed after that,” he said.

Falkenburg is one of 43 patients receiving the convalescent plasma at IU Health, and one of 10 now recovering at home.

“This patient was struggling for quite a long time with the ventilator and having one of our patients leaving the hospital after such a struggle,” said Dr. Nicolas Barros. “It is very refreshing and encouraging.”

Barros says Falkenburg’s recovery is exceptional because he has transplanted kidney and high risk.

Between the two medical battles, Falkenburg says picking the most difficult is easy.

The hardest medical fight for me was the COVID-19 arm. I absolutely had no energy and couldn’t breathe and (had_ no strength whatsoever, not even to be able to walk 20 feet. I’ll be honest, I did think I will probably, I don’t think I was going to recover at one point.”

Now he’s grateful for more time with his family, his three granddaughters, the joy of his life.

“I feel 100% better,” he said.

He credits faith, his family and his medical team, and, of course, his dual donors.

“I feel good. Life’s good, I’m glad to be alive,” Falkenburg said.

WTHR

Anne Keating

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Anne Keating, former Senior Vice President of Public Relations for Bloomingdale’s, was responsible for the initiation, creation and direction of Bloomingdale’s press efforts, special events and philanthropic endeavors for all stores nationwide up until August 2017. She was also the company’s official spokesperson.  In October 2017, Anne transitioned into a consultant to Bloomingdale’s CEO for philanthropy and other projects, in addition to establishing her own private consultancy.

 

Keating is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Associates of the Old Vic and HELP USA/Mentoring USA. She previously served on the board of NYC & Company and continues on the Director’s Council of the Children’s Museum of the Arts. She also serves as an advisor to the Child Mind Institute and is a member of the Dream Team for Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centers.

 

Due to her leadership in steering the public relations and philanthropic efforts for Bloomingdale’s and her personal mission to give back to her community, New York Women in Communications, Inc. (NYWICI) proudly named Keating as a recipient of the 2010 Matrix Award.  She has also been recognized for her guidance, commitment and philanthropic work by Upward Inc., the New York Center for Children, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Children’s Museum of the Arts, as well as the Girls Scouts of Greater New York.

 

In addition, Help USA awarded Keating the HELP HERO award for her years of leadership in the effort to combat domestic violence and homelessness. The Anne Keating Scholarship Fund was established in her honor in 2008 to grant young mothers the funds to pursue educational opportunities.

 

Prior to joining Bloomingdale’s in 1995 as Vice President of Public Relations, Keating was the Vice President of Public Relations, Special Events, and Corporate Services at FAO Schwarz. She also served as the Director of Bridal and Gift Services at Bloomingdale’s earlier in her career. She began her retail career at Tiffany & Co.  Keating holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Education from the College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey.

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Emma is currently an Assistant at Second Alpha Partners and manages the implementation of executive administration, business, and personal support to the CEOs and CFO. She has previously held internships in the wealth management, accounting, and event planning industries. She has also volunteered in the special needs and health education spaces. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from UCLA. 

James Sanger

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James Sanger is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Second Alpha Partners, a value-oriented private equity firm focused on secondary and secondary-linked direct investments in mature venture-stage, growth-equity and middle-market companies showing prospects for superior future growth.  He is an author and frequent speaker on topics related to advanced technologies, business innovation and the evolution of venture capital investing. Jim has spent more than twenty years as a venture capitalist, secondary investor, corporate advisor and technology executive. He currently serves as a board member of HealthCare.com and TeraGo Networks (TSX:TGO). Previously, Jim served as a board observer of EverQuote (NASDAQ: EVER), as a board member and Chairman of Sixth Sense Media (acquired by Evolving Systems) and as a board member of AVST (acquired by StoneCalibre).

Prior to Second Alpha, Jim was a General Partner at ABS Ventures, where he focused on investments that combined elements of traditional venture investing with secondary share purchases in growth companies. At ABS, Jim’s investments included Everbridge (NASDAQ: EVBG), Qualys (NASDAQ: QLYS), Gomez (acquired by Compuware), Inxight Software (acquired by Business Objects/SAP), AlphaBlox (acquired by IBM (NYSE: IBM)), Overtone (acquired by KANA) and Intralinks (acquired in a syndicated buyout led by Rho Partners). Jim was also a senior member of the ABS team that structured the secondary purchases of several portfolios of venture assets from Deutsche Bank.

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Sara Roberts McCarley is a non-profit professional with experience in global, national and local organizations.  With over 25 years of experience in this sector, she has worked in healthcare philanthropy, international program development and a myriad of state/local organizations with a variety of missions and focus areas. 
 
Currently, Sara serves as the founder and chairman of the Randy Roberts Foundation that works to cultivate Florida’s future leaders through civic engagement and public service. Since 2009, the Randy Roberts Foundation has pledged $331,000 in undergraduate scholarships and impacted more than 200 high school students through leadership programming. Alumni of the organization are now doctors, lawyers, teachers, national security staff, military leaders, all making a difference in their respective communities. The Randy Roberts Foundation is currently in partnership with and housed at Florida Southern College where Sara graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication. 

Sara was elected as a Lakeland City Commissioner in Lakeland, Florida, in January 2019.  She continues to support many organizations as an active board member including, Lakeland Vision Education Chair, Lakeland Area Mass Transit and Citrus Connection Vice Chair, Harrison School for the Performing Arts Parent Association President, Polk County Transportation Planning Organization member, and Bonnet Springs Park Arts and Culture Co-Chair.

Richard Brekka

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Richard Brekka is a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Second Alpha Partners, a value-oriented private equity firm focused on secondary and secondary-linked direct investments in mature venture-stage, growth-equity and middle-market companies showing prospects for superior future growth. He is a passionate spokesman for the importance of secondary investing to the overall health of the innovation economy. For more than twenty years, Richard has invested in growth-oriented tech companies – particularly software-as-a-service, mobile content, communication services and Internet opportunities.

He currently serves as a board member of TeraGo Networks (TSX: TGO) and as a board observer of Payfone. Previously, Richard served on the boards of Appia Communications (acquired by CallTower), AVST (acquired by StoneCalibre), TouchCommerce (acquired by Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN)), Sixth Sense Media (acquired by Evolving Systems), the Guild (acquired by Digital Fuel Capital) and SeaPass (acquired by Internet Capital Group).

Prior to founding Second Alpha, Richard was President, Managing Partner and founder of Dolphin Equity Partners, a New York-based venture firm. Between 1998 and 2010, Dolphin raised two funds and invested in nearly three dozen portfolio companies. At Dolphin, Richard was Chairman of the Board of Gomez (acquired by Compuware – the acquisition represented one of the top ten largest exits in the venture industry during 2009), and was a board member of Mobile Armor (acquired by Trend Micro), Enpocket (acquired by Nokia), Seapass (acquired by Internet Capital Group), AVST (acquired by StoneCalibre), SixthSense Media (acquired by Evolving Systems) and Overtone (acquired by KANA).

Before Dolphin, Richard was a Managing Director in the private equity investment group at CIBC and President of CIBC’s U.S. private equity subsidiaries. While at CIBC, he was on the board of ten communications companies, including Telesystems International Wireless (acquired by Vodaphone), Orion Network Systems (acquired by Loral), and Transit Communications (acquired by DialPage). Prior to CIBC, he was with Chase Capital and led the Firm’s investments in Nextel (NASD: NXTL) and DisCom Communications (acquired by Nextel).

Richard holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Marisol Lugo Brekka

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Marisol Lugo Brekka is a Cuban American and the co-founder of PlasmaSaves.org. She began her career in 1992 with Bank of America’s management training program.  She was in the financial services industry for 17 years specializing in mergers and acquisition within the manufacturing and distribution industries.  Her portfolio consisted of several Fortune 500 companies mostly in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid- West regions.

Marisol has always been a strong advocate for non-profits dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged and Latino communities. Throughout her career, Marisol served on several large nonprofit boards, including All Children’s Hospital Development Board of Directors in Columbus, Ohio and the Inner Bay Glover Family YMCA Board of Directors in Tampa, Florida. While serving on the boards, she chaired fundraising events throughout the year.

She was raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and learned to speak English at the age of five. She received a degree in Finance and MBA from Florida Southern College.  Marisol resides in New York City with her husband and two children.