Category: Life Savers
Who: Ajay Munot
What: After recovering from COVID, he donated his plasma 14 times
Why: For donating his plasma a record 14 times to help COVID patients
As India was being battered hard by the second wave of COVID-19, and there was fear and apprehension about plasma donation, some heroes showed the way by lending a helping hand to those in need. One such COVID warrior is Ajay Munot, who holds the Limca Record of donating plasma, not once, twice, or thrice, but 14 times. The Pune man tested positive for COVID-19 in July 2020. About a month later, post-recovery he donated plasma for the first time. There was no stopping after that, as he went for plasma donation every fortnight. The intent was so strong that initially, he didn’t get vaccinated as it would have impacted his antibodies (sic), making it impossible for him to donate plasma.
Onlymyhealth’s second edition of ‘Healthcare Heroes Awards’ salutes those who went out of their way to help those in distress, helping thereby to rebuild communities and the country. Munot is one such hero , who has been nominated in the ‘Life Savers’ category.
‘My Mother’: On What Inspired Ajay Munot To Donate Plasma 14 Times
It was sometime in July-August 2020 when Munot came across a case in Delhi wherein a COVID patient donated plasma 6-7 times. “So, I thought if one can donate plasma multiple times, then why not,” the COVID warrior told Onlymyhealth. Also, at that time, there was a desperate need and panic around plasma. So, after overcoming the initial doubt, he decided to donate his plasma.
But the spirit of donation went back longer.
Munot’s mother, Sarasbai, had the rare O- blood group, and, hence, was called to donate blood at Pune’s Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC). “As a child, I used to go with her when she went for blood donation,” Munot said. “So, I knew that by donating blood you could save people’s lives. The same applied here,” he added.
So, he started donating plasma every 15th day, as once the antibodies would wane, he would no longer have been able to do so. “I didn’t even wait for the 16th day. Once, I went on the 14th day, but they sent me back,” he said. This is because you can donate plasma no less than 14 days after your previous donation. His resolve was so firm that he didn’t get vaccinated initially as this would have not allowed him to donate any longer.
Even the doctors were surprised at the sheer number of times he donated, he told Onlymyhealth. Many patients also enquired about it. For his experience to be of some use in future research, he shared a sheet with the date of donation and his antibodies count on that day. This was to show how safe the process is and that plasma donation can be done multiple times.
‘Got Serious One Time’: Ajay Munot On His COVID Experience
In July 2020, Ajay Munot got infected with coronavirus. “I had a fever for a couple of days, and on doctor’s advice I got tested, which came out positive,” he said. Cough was the major symptom he experienced at the COVID centre. “It (cough) was so severe that I had difficulty breathing,” he said.
Speaking about that one time when his condition deteriorated considerably, Munot said, “I just couldn’t breathe, got extremely restless, uneasy.” After giving medication, the doctors said he might require a ventilator if the condition doesn’t improve. The oxygen level had dipped to 60, Munot said. Gladly for him, the situation didn’t deteriorate further and his condition improved over the next few days. After staying at the COVID centre for 21 days, he returned home, after which he was home-quarantined for another eight days.
‘Scared At First, But Supported Later’: Ajay Munot On His Family’s Reaction
Since there is little awareness around plasma donation, the family was scared at first, Munot said. However, once they understood the whole process, they were very supportive, he added.
Process Of Plasma Donation
The process of plasma donation is similar to that for blood, Munot explained
- Firstly, your blood is drawn.
- It is then made to pass through a machine, where the plasma is separated.
- The remaining blood is inserted back into your body.
There are two aspects critical in plasma donation
- Since blood is inserted back into your body, the blood vessels should be strong enough to bear that. Otherwise, it can lead to clotting or other issues.
- Your antibodies levels should be high.
“In my case, both these were fine,” he explained.
‘Never’: Ajay Munot On Any Ill Effects Of Plasma Donation
The COVID survivor said he “never” experienced any detrimental effect after plasma donation. “I even made videos of before and after donation to show there is nothing to be afraid of,” he said.
Speaking about his feat of having been featured in the India Book of Records, he said “it’s a matter of pride.” Also, he was elated as he could, in his way, help people overcome their fears of plasma donation. “I was able to become a COVID warrior, and being a warrior is a big deal,” he said. In the future, he would be donating his body. “After dying, instead of wasting it in rituals, it’s better to donate so that it can be helpful to someone,” he said.
We, at Onlymyhealth, give a shout-out to Ajay Munot to do something very few would have the will to do. If you think that Ajay’s work shouldn’t go unrecognised, then vote for him.