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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Pune man donates plasma for a record 14 times: ‘Never felt weak, ready for more’

Munot said his repeated donations should help remove the misconceptions from the minds of those who have recovered from COVID-19.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
May 13, 2021 12:22:30 pm
Ajay Munot recovered from COVID-19 in June 2020

While many of those who have recovered from COVID-19 remain reluctant to donate plasma to those infected by the virus, a 50-year-old man isn’t thinking twice before going for it. In fact, he has created a record of sorts by donating plasma as many as 14 times.

“I am the first person in the country to donate my plasma 14 times,” claims Ajay Munot as he shows a certificate given to him by India Book of Records.

The certificate reads, “Congratulations, your claim has been finalised as ‘Maximum plasma donation by an individual under India Book of Records, 2022. We appreciate the effort and patience shown by you. Your skills have been acknowledged and as per the verification done by the Editorial Board of India Book of Records, only the best selected and approved by us.”

Munot, who works as a strategic consultant, said it all began after he recovered from COVID-19 in June 2020. “As I had mild symptoms, I got myself admitted in a COVID-19 Care Centre.”

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After he recovered, Munot observed there was a widespread demand for plasma with desperate families pleading for plasma from donors through social media. “I donated my first plasma 28 days after I recovered in July and it was an emergency when a patient’s family was searching for a plasma donor,” he said, adding he has made all plasma donations at Sahyadri Hospital, Kothrud. I

Pankaj Sonawane, a resident of Tingrenagar, said his mother was critically ill in August last year. “We approached blood banks who had no stock. We approached a few donors who first agreed to donate, then backed out. Somehow, we got the number of Ajay Munot from the police commissionerate where he had registered his name for plasma donation,” he said.

Sonawane said his 63-year-old mother’s lungs were severely affected and doctors at Jehangir Hospital. “For three days, we could not get any donor. But on the fourth day, we got it…After receiving the plasma, my mother was out of the ICU after some days. However, she was affected by post COVID symptoms. She recovered from that too and is now living a normal life,” said Sonawane, who is extremely grateful to Munot. “Had Ajay Munot not rushed forth, it would have been difficult to save my mother’s life,” Sonawane added.

Munot said his repeated donations should help remove the misconceptions from the minds of those who have recovered from COVID-19. “Though I have donated plasma for 14 days, I have never felt weak or uneasy. People have false notions that blood is taken out during plasma donation. Plasma is separated from the blood. Plasma contains antibodies. Plasma donation is not blood donation. One does feel weak or falls ill after donating plasma,” he says.

Munot said he has undergone an antibody test. “Even after nine months, I have adequate stock of antibodies in my blood… And I am ready to donate for the 15th time as well.”

Dr Purnima Rao of Sahyadri Hospital said, “Ajay Munot has donated plasma 14 times at our hospital. Plasma donation does not affect a donor. In fact, it stimulates the functioning of bone marrow and leads to the formation of new blood cells.”

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