Harrison Co. plasma donor: Seeing a recovery is a 'blessing in itself'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - While the family of Dr. Jeff Foxx in Lexington is extremely overjoyed to see his recovery there is another man who is also thankful.

Ray Young, a Harrison County native, donated plasma after recovering from COVID-19. His donation went on to help a Lexington doctor recover from the illness. (WKYT)

Ray Young is a stranger to Dr. Foxx, but will forever be tied to the fellow Kentuckian.

Earlier this month WKYT's Amber Philpott sat down via video chat with Young from Harrison County, he had been asymptomatic from COVID-19 and recovered.

When WKYT talked with Young, it was just days after he was asked to donate his plasma, which later went to Dr. Foxx.

On Tuesday, there was a visual reminder of hope during this pandemic when Lexington doctor Jeff Foxx, who fought and beat the coronavirus, left the hospital.

"Just to see him come out and get wheeled out to his vehicle and go home with his family, that's a blessing in itself," said Young.

With no known treatment for COVID-19, Young played a key role in Dr. Foxx's recovery. He was asked to donate his plasma full of antibodies that helped him fight off the virus.

The chances of it working were unknown, but then Young got a call from a physician in Dr. Foxx's practice.

"Dr. Applegate called me earlier to thank me personally for donating the plasma, and he told me the improvements they saw whenever they did infuse him," said Young.

Young says it has been an emotional roller coaster, having tested positive for a virus that never made him sick, but seeing what it can do to others.

The deeply Christian father and husband told WKYT, maybe it was part of his plan.

"Everything happens in your life for a reason, and God puts things in your life that you are going to come across in time, and you may not know it," said Young.

And that's why Ray Young says he first shared his story and continues to encourage others to come forward so that we might see more moments like this one.

"I wanted to be able to let them know that if you went through this and you've got those antibodies help out, you might save a life," said Young.

To be clear, plasma donations like this one are not a cure for COVID-19. Doctors say more studies are needed, but there is hope.

When asked if he would like to meet Dr. Foxx, Young said absolutely, when the Lexington man is feeling up to it.

Baptist Health Lexington partnered with the Kentucky Blood Center to fast track the plasma donation earlier this month.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you may be contacted to see if you are willing to donate.

If you have recovered from COVID-19, and wish to donate, visit this website or you can contact Baptist Health Lexington at 859-260-6444.