COVID-19 Survivor Hopes Plasma Donation Will Help Save Others

Apr 22, 2020, 8:14 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2020, 8:43 am

LAYTON, Utah – A Davis County man was among the first COVID-19 survivors to donate his plasma to treat those who have hospitalized with the virus.

Doctors from Intermountain Healthcare, and others across the country, have been investigating how helpful plasma treatments might be, as they try to build a pool of donors.

“I just felt this desire and need to help out as soon as I could, because of my experience with the virus,” said Matt Newey. “The virus was horrible, and I can’t imagine what people in the hospitals are experiencing (and) having it way worse.”

Newey was among the first people in Utah to catch coronavirus and test positive. He has been well for 30 days, with neither a cough nor a fever.

He was able to donate his plasma in Layton at the American Red Cross Blood Donor Center.

Matt Newey‘s blood is rich with antibodies that helped him fight off COVID-19. So, he’s donated plasma that doctors plan to infuse into a patient who is suffering, right now.

He was eager to help, even as he tries to shake off the last lingering symptoms.

“I have the strong antibodies that will help other people, hopefully help other people, and potentially fight off this virus faster,” he said.

In mid-March, before the ski resorts shut down across the region, he was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with four friends.

“We didn’t know this, but I guess there was a big outbreak going on,” he said. “We headed home, and then a couple of days later my friends and I were feeling really weird, all five of us. Then later, all five of us tested positive for the virus.“

He battled the virus for about a week, he said.

“When it got to my chest, that was when it got the scariest,” he said. “It felt like I was breathing through a straw.”
During the worst of the illness, he said, he also felt as though somebody was sitting on his chest.

“The cough only lasted just one rough, sleepless night,” he said. “It was as though my immune system was trying to punch it out of my system, and give everything that I could to knock it out.”

He said he feels like he has about 70 percent of his lung capacity back, but, no sense of taste or smell.

“I left my milk out for two days, and I have no idea if it’s gone bad or not,“ he said.

Newey ate a lemon with no reaction to the sour taste, When he took a mouthful of hot sauce, he was not able to taste the flavor, but he did feel the burn.

“I’ve lost my appetite because of it, and I’ve lost over 15 pounds,” he said.

Newey hoped his senses return as he continues to feel better. After going through COVID-19, he said he sees the virus in a different way. He urged everyone to take all precautions to slow the spread.

“This isn’t just an ordinary flu bug,” he said. “This is a serious virus, and it needs to be taken seriously.”

Individuals are eligible to donate their plasma if they have tested positive for COVID-19, have been symptom-free for at least 28 days, and have the printed results from their positive test. Other health criteria will be monitored, as well.

“People are really beginning to respond to this,” said Dr. Walter Kelley, medical director for the American Red Cross. “We certainly have people that are able to (donate), but we really encourage people that do have an interest, and are willing to take the time, to do this.”

For an online pre-screening, go to

Coronavirus Resources

How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

How To Get Help

If you’re worried you may have COVID-19, you can contact the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 to speak to trained healthcare professionals. You can also use telehealth services through your healthcare providers.

Additional Resources

If you see evidence of PRICE GOUGING, the Utah Attorney General’s Office wants you to report it. Common items in question include toilet paper, water, hand sanitizer, certain household cleaners, and even cold medicine and baby formula. Authorities are asking anyone who sees price gouging to report it to the Utah Division of Consumer Protection at 801-530-6601 or 800-721-7233. The division can also be reached by email at

KSL 5 TV Live


Julianna Preece goes through the mountain of medical documents she's acquired for her health condit...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Herriman couple is suing CVS, says 5x Covid vaccine dose mistake caused health problems

A couple is suing a Utah CVS vaccination clinic, saying a nurse’s mistake led to the wife receiving five times the normal COVID-19 vaccine dose and caused serious health issues she’s still dealing with today.

4 days ago

FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

15 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

COVID-19 Survivor Hopes Plasma Donation Will Help Save Others