Texas Couple Helps Save 68 Coronavirus Patients by Donating Plasma: ‘You’re Saving Mankind’

“We want to give back, I mean that’s who we are,” Brian Murphy said

By Ally Mauch December 12, 2020 02:00 PM • People

After contracting the novel coronavirus in March, Brian and Dina Murphy have been determined to give back.

The couple from San Antonio, Texas, has donated plasma to 68 people, helping others recover from the virus. Dina, 60, began donating in April, as soon as she started feeling better, and Brian, 59, followed suit in June.

“I felt that really, God really saved me and to be a survivor,” Dina, 60, told Good Morning America. “I felt that this is really what he wants me to do — to help others.”

“We want to give back, I mean that’s who we are,” Brian added. “We were raised that way and to do work in the community.”

Though there is some evidence to the contrary, the FDA has concluded that convalescent plasma — the yellow, liquid part of blood that contains antibodies in those who have recovered from COVID-19 — can be effective in treating the virus.

“Giving them plasma is really — it’s a lot easier than believe it or not, donating blood,” Dina shared. “They pull the plasma out of your blood and then they put your blood back in you. You don’t feel it, you just feel a little coolness when it’s going back in. So it’s pretty simple and it takes a little bit more time.”

The couple urged others who were diagnosed with the coronavirus to consider donating plasma as well, particularly amid the current spike in cases nationwide.

“It’s a critical time for everybody to be providing [plasma] because there are so many more people in the hospital right now that could use plasma donations,” Brian told GMA.

“We just really hope that people will realize that this is something that if they’re a survivor, they just need to do it,” added Dina. “It’s so important and you’re saving mankind. That’s what’s really important.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Anne Keating

Senior Advisor

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.

Michael Brekka

Web and Graphic Designer

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Emma Stern

Operations Manager

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

Senior Advisor

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.

Sara Roberts

Senior Advisor

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

Co-Founder

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

Co-Founder

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.