Ebola survivor donates blood in Kansas City to sick journalist - KCTV5

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Ebola survivor donates blood in Kansas City to sick journalist

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Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly donates blood to an NBC cameraman who is battling the virus. (Source: CNN) Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly donates blood to an NBC cameraman who is battling the virus. (Source: CNN)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

The first American flown back to the U.S. for treatment of Ebola this summer has donated plasma to the most recent one to return from West Africa with the disease, the Nebraska Medical Center said Wednesday.

The hospital said it called Dr. Kent Brantly on Tuesday to tell him his blood type matches that of Ashoka Mukpo, a freelance video journalist who arrived at the medical center Monday.

Brantly was driving through Kansas City, MO, and was able to give blood locally in a secluded area at the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, located off of Main Street. The blood was then frozen and flown to Omaha, the hospital said in a statement. It said Mukpo would receive the transfusion Wednesday.

Such transfusions are believed to help Ebola patients because a survivor's blood contains antibodies to fight the disease.

Brantly, who was treated for Ebola in Atlanta, also donated blood to the first Ebola patient treated at the Nebraska hospital, Dr. Rick Sacra. Brantly and Sacra also happened to be friends from their missionary work.

"We are incredibly grateful that Dr. Brantly would take the time to do this, not once, but twice," said Dr. Angela Hewlett, who is helping oversee Mukpo's treatment.

Mukpo is also receiving an experimental Ebola drug called brincidofovir and IV fluids to manage his electrolyte levels. That's similar to the treatment Sacra received during his three weeks at the Omaha hospital, but Mukpo is receiving a different experimental drug.

Mukpo's father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, said Tuesday that his son was experiencing nausea and some vomiting and diarrhea.

The World Health Organization estimates that the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 3,400 people.

Mukpo became infected while working as a freelance cameraman for Vice News, NBC News and other media outlets. He returned to Liberia in early September to help highlight the toll of the Ebola outbreak.

Mukpo, who is from Providence, Rhode Island, previously spent two years in Liberia working for a nonprofit.

Leon Schumacher has donated plasma more than 150 times. He does it to help cancer patients and others who are sick.

"There are a lot of kids that really need it. Not just adults, but kids too," he said.

Little did Schumacher know that Brantly would donate plasma at the very same blood center he visits.

"Our team was so excited because we are in the business of saving lives, it's what we do every day, but this was such an extraordinary opportunity because this donor just happened to be in our area," said Patsy Shipley, the vice president of donor and hospital services.

News of Brantly's blood donation comes at a time when donations have dipped in Kansas City.

"We are in desperate need of blood right now and platelets. I hope this inspires someone to be part of our life-saving team in Kansas City," Shipley said.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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