This local family’s COVID-19 journey led to them helping others through plasma donations

Sharlene and Lawrence Barris have always loved helping people. That is what led the couple to Africa to help underprivileged school children in need.

Upon returning in March, they self-quarantined for precaution. At first, they felt great but that quickly changed.

Lawrence Barris told KPRC 2 reporter Rose-Ann Aragon he started to experience “sweats, shivers ... a lot of weakness,” and shortly after his symptoms started, Sharlene Barris also became ill.

Despite being with her husband during his recovery, Sharlene’s symptoms were much milder, and after a week, they both recovered and were happy to see their daughter, Jodi Sanchez, and grandchildren again.

After their recovery, the couple said they were contacted by Houston Methodist about an opportunity to donate plasma to help future recovery. Lawrence and Sharlene Barris jumped at the chance to help.

"I think [Methodist] said for every blood donation you gave you could help 3 patients," Sharlene Barris said.

The couple were eager at a chance to help others going through coronavirus in any way they could.

"Whomever we can help is what we want to do and that was the goal and it didn't matter who it was!" Sharlene Barris.