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Vinalhaven man returns home after weeks-long fight against COVID-19

Richard Stevenson was hospitalized with COVID-19 and his family feared the worst. He received convalescent plasma as part of his treatment.

VINALHAVEN, Maine — For the last two months, NEWS CENTER Maine has been covering the journey of Richard Stevenson, a man from Vinalhaven fighting a severe case of COVID-19. This week, another update.

Stevenson has returned home to Vinalhaven where he will continue his recovery. In April he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Intensive Care Unit at Midcoast Hospital in Brunswick and needed a ventilator. 

His wife, Catherine, said the team at Midcoast Hospital was "amazing" and they took great care of her husband. 

Having a medical background herself, Catherine dedicated nearly every spare moment for weeks to researching COVID-19 and the possible methods being evaluated by researchers to help patients like her husband, get better, and survive. 

RELATED: Tom Hanks donates plasma to UCLA to help fight coronavirus

Catherine and their daughter, Lexie, made a heartfelt plea in April for people to donate convalescent plasma, especially people who have recovered from COVID-19. It's being explored as a way to help patients, thanks to its antibodies that have been said to help fight the virus.

People in Maine and across the nation responded to that call and donated plasma in Richard's name, even if they themselves did not have COVID-19 in the past. Catherine says roughly 6,000 people donated in his name. One of those people is Lisa Smith, who also shared her story of recovering from COVID-19 with NEWS CENTER Maine.

RELATED: Road to recovery: Mainers share personal stories of coronavirus, COVID-19 diagnosis

By May Richard received a plasma donation. On May 13, he was discharged from the hospital and taken to a rehab facility in Portland. 

By the end of the month, he had returned home to Vinalhaven, healthier than when he first left.

"Catherine's been amazing," said Richard. "I couldn't have done what she did and the outpouring is very humbling."

"If you've had COVID-19 please go donate plasma," said Catherine. "You're saving lives. You saved my husband's life."

RELATED: COVID-19 patient is closer to recovery after receiving plasma donation

There are a couple of ways you can donate plasma in Maine. You can go through the American Red Cross to find a location near you, or through CSL Plasma which is located in South Portland. 

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