Russia resident receives plasma donation

By Melanie Speicher -

RUSSIA — A Russia resident has received a plasma donation in her battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Andrea Wehner, 31, of Russia, is currently hospitalized at Kettering Medical Center, where she is in ICU and on a ventilator.

“Andrea received a convalescent plasma donation Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.,” said her mom, Deb Wehner. “Last evening I talked with a nurse and Andrea did have a little bit of improvement.

“It could take several days to see anything (improvement),” said Deb.

Andrea is a registered nurse and currently attending grad school to become a family nurse practitioner, said her mom, who is a retired OB nurse. She said they don’t know how Andrea was exposed to the virus.

“All four of us had it,” said Deb. “(My husband) Bob and I were tested. Our son, Chris, felt healthy before this and because of lack of testing kits, didn’t get tested.”

All the family members self isolated at home.

Andrea was tested for COVID-19 on April 2. When her test came back positive, the hospital called her on April 3 and asked her to come in for a chest x-ray and further lab tests.

“The chest x-ray showed she had pneumonia,” said Deb.

Friday evening Andrea was admitted to Upper Valley Medical Center, Troy. On Saturday, April 4, she was admitted to the hospital’s ICU unit. On Sunday, April 5, she was placed on a ventilator and sedated.

She was transferred to Kettering Medical Center, where she works, said her mom.

On a daily basis, Deb calls the hospital and talks to either a doctor or nurse about Andrea’s condition.

“I appreciate the nurses and doctors calling with updates,” she said. “As a retired OB nurse, this is not familiar territory for me. I always have new questions for them.”

Deb said the doctors encouraged the family to talk with people who had recovered from COVID-19 to be a plasma donor.

Guidelines for becoming a plasma donor include having a doctor’s verification that the person tested positive for the virus and be free of symptoms for 14 days. The person can then call a blood donation center to be added to a donor list. The agency will call them back and tell them when they can come in for a donation.

Deb emphasized the guidelines already in place in the state of Ohio: stay at home as much as you can; wear a mask when you do go out; and practice social distancing of being 6 to 10 feet apart.

“With me being a nurse and my daughter being a nurse, we’ve always practiced good handwashing at home,” said Deb. “That’s really important.”

“I’m concerned about the state opening things back up too soon,” sad Deb. “I hope Gov. DeWine doesn’t open things back up.It could be a case of ‘Let’s see where the cookie crumbles’ if it is reopened too soon.”

Wehner said Andrea has received many get well cards at home since she’s been admitted to the hospital.

“We’re putting them in a basket and when Andrea gets home, we’ll look through them together.”

Deb said Andrea’s progress is also being posted on the family’s Facebook page.

Anyone who would like to send Andrea a card can send it to Andrea Wehner, 2150 State Route 48, Houston, OH 45333.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.