Sisters share sorrow, hope


Pair donate COVID-19 plasma together

Rosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in honor of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.

Rosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in honor of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.


Rosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, shares a photo of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.


Sisters Rosemary Saunders and Margaret Brown, both of Pleasant Hill, both donated COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.


CBC COVID-19 convalescent plasma program

DAYTON — To be eligible to give CCP donors must have a diagnosis of COVID-19 through RNA testing. Potential donors can review the CCP eligibility criteria and doctors can complete and submit the form to qualify donors at www.GivingBlood.org.

Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email canidonate@cbccts.org or call 800-388-GIVE. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to 23 hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in the Miami (Ohio) and Whitewater (Indiana) Valleys. For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services®, visit www.givingblood.org.

DAYTON — Rosemary Saunders worried as she grew older about her adult son Ed with Down syndrome. Who would look out for him when she was no longer around? Then COVID-19 came and turned the world upside down.

The coronavirus has been capricious in the way it divides families. It took Ed’s life on April 3 but spared Rosemary and her sister, Margaret Brown. Eight weeks later, on May 28 the two sisters traveled from their homes in Pleasant Hill to donate COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) side-by-side at the Dayton Community Blood Center.

Since early April CBC has been collecting the antibody-rich plasma from COVID-19 survivors to help patients critically ill with the virus at local hospitals and outside the region.

“We do what we can do,” said Rosemary as she turned to Margaret, “to make a good situation out of a bad situation.”

Rosemary’s son, Ed Kauffman, was 50 years old and diabetic, “but a pretty healthy and a happy boy,” she said. He loved bowling, playing in the Riverside Bell Choir, and serving on the Champaign Residential Services Inc. board.

“Ed and I talked about how one of us is going to probably have to live without the other,” she said. “I tried to prepare him, so he’d know how to live without me. All that talking to him, now I had to learn to live without him. It’s part of life. We lose people.”

It was in late March that Ed began to show symptoms.

“He had a great team and was doing pretty good for the first five days,” said Rosemary, who had worked at the Sidney Daily News before her retirement. “It was up and down, and we knew it was out there, and we wanted to be careful.

“It took a bad turn. By the time we got him to the ER they had to sedate him and put him on the ventilator right away.” He was transferred from Upper Valley Medical Center to Miami Valley Hospital, then placed in isolation.

“I never got to see him,” said Rosemary. “The nurses tried to help me talk to him, comfort him, to hear my voice, but that was the most that we could do.”

Rosemary knew she was exposed to COVID-19, but her symptoms were mild.

“I self-isolated for two weeks and didn’t have a test until April 17.” A day and a half later she learned she was positive.

Meanwhile, Rosemary’s sister Margaret Brown was working at SpringMeade Healthcare Center, a nursing care facility in Tipp City.

“We knew what we were getting into,” she said. “I had a fever, dizziness, body aches. I stayed home and got tested on March 26.”

She got the results on April 5, two days after her nephew’s death. “I was positive. I was in isolation for two weeks.”

She learned that fear of COVID-19 outlives the infection.

“People don’t want to be around you,” she said.

She read about participating in the CCP program on the CBC website. She printed out the doctor’s form and called her sister. Soon they were scheduling their plasma donations at CBC.

“They said we’ll get you guys down here together so you can drive together,” said Margaret. “I had never donated blood.” Margaret finished her donation before Rosemary, then sat with her in the Donor Café.

“We wanted something good to come out of this for someone,” said Margaret. “Something positive.”

Rosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in honor of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/06/web1_CCP-donor-Rosemary-Saunders.jpgRosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in honor of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.

Rosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, shares a photo of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/06/web1_Rosemary-Saunders-shows-photo-of-son-Ed.jpgRosemary Saunders, of Pleasant Hill, shares a photo of her son, Ed Kauffman, who passed away in April of COVID-19.

Sisters Rosemary Saunders and Margaret Brown, both of Pleasant Hill, both donated COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2020/06/web1_Sisters-Rosemary-Saunders-Margaret-Brown.jpgSisters Rosemary Saunders and Margaret Brown, both of Pleasant Hill, both donated COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.
Pair donate COVID-19 plasma together

CBC COVID-19 convalescent plasma program

DAYTON — To be eligible to give CCP donors must have a diagnosis of COVID-19 through RNA testing. Potential donors can review the CCP eligibility criteria and doctors can complete and submit the form to qualify donors at www.GivingBlood.org.

Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email canidonate@cbccts.org or call 800-388-GIVE. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to 23 hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in the Miami (Ohio) and Whitewater (Indiana) Valleys. For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services®, visit www.givingblood.org.