Coronavirus patient denied plasma donation because he’s ‘too old,' family says

KPRC 2 reporter Keith Garvin shares the family's story.

HOUSTON – A local family is hoping for a miracle to help their father heal from the coronavirus.

Harris Rotman, 81, checked into Houston Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center Monday with a high fever. By the time he was tested and diagnosed with COVID-19 on Tuesday, his condition had progressed to pneumonia.

Rotman is now being treated with heavy doses of oxygen.

“This could be a matter of life and death for my father and many other people that have reached out to me,” said his daughter Beth Rotman.

Adding to their plight, the family said a plasma donation treatment being offered at several local hospitals is not an option for their father. They said they’ve been told Rotman is too old to qualify for the study.

“My father is there, and if there’s a donor ready to give him this sort of potential,” Beth said. “I don’t know if it’s a cure but it definitely can help him fight. Why shouldn’t he get it?”

Beth said she has been contacted by donors who gave plasma for the study, who are willing to provide more for her father. She said the family and her father are ready to take the offer, if allowed.

“My father is 81, but he’s a sharp guy,” Beth said. “He has some other health issues, but he absolutely has a lot of good years in him. We’re really hopeful that we can get him antibodies.”

The family said they’ve considered trying to move their father to another hospital for the treatment but says his oxygen needs are too great and other hospitals don’t have the room.

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