Health Care

Detroit man with coronavirus becomes first in Michigan to receive antibody treatment

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Dr. Siegel on race to treat coronavirus symptoms

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A Detroit man battling the novel coronavirus is the first patient in Michigan to receive antibody plasma treatment to improve his condition.

Richard Beckerson, a patient with COVID-19, was hospitalized at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor where he received the experimental treatment, according to multiple reports.  Beckerson received antibodies from the blood of patients who recovered from the novel coronavirus. Beckerson’s doctors credited the new procedure with saving his life, FOX17 reported.


Beckerson was hospitalized on March 29.

“We got there. I laid down on the slab and that’s the last I remembered,” Beckerson told the media outlet. He spent the last four months at the hospital where he was in the ICU and on a ventilator for weeks, per FOX17.

“Treated him with a number of different modalities, not thinking he would survive,” Dr. Stephen Bloom told the outlet.

The doctors then used the experimental treatment that takes plasma from a person who recovered from the coronavirus. More than1,000 hospitals in the United States participate in this program and Beckerson was the first COVID-19 patient in Michigan to be given the treatment, according to the outlet.

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Health experts have said that antibodies in the plasma of someone who has recovered from COVID-19 can help someone currently ill with the virus. Physicians told Fox News that this treatment is often used for people with immunodeficiencies, among other conditions.

The effects of convalescent plasma treatment have been studied in previous outbreaks of  respiratory infections, such as SARS-CoV-1, H1N1 influenza virus, and the  MERS-CoV epidemic, according to the Food and Drug Administration‘s (FDA) website.

“Convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for this disease and there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19,” according to the FDA.

“[Coronavirus] affected his muscles [and] his nerves, in addition to his lungs,” Bloom explained to the news outlet.

After undergoing physical therapy, Beckerson walked out of the hospital surrounded by applause.


“[I can] get up and out of this chair by myself,” Beckerson told the media. “I get out of bed, down the hallway in the bedroom by myself.”

Beckerson said he hopes that others won’t experience what happened to him and will take proper precautions against the virus.

“Wear a mask and wash your hands,” he said.

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