Stephen Garcia’s family is frantic. The auto body worker, just 32 years old, has been on a ventilator in a Los Angeles-area hospital for nearly two weeks, gravely ill with COVID-19, unresponsive — and unaware of the battle they’re waging on his behalf.
For days, Garcia’s mother, his aunt and his girlfriend have pleaded with doctors at Kaiser Permanente Downey Medical Center to try an experimental treatment — blood plasma from people recovered from COVID-19 — in hopes of saving his life.
They know it’s not at all a sure thing. But they’ve seen stories from across the country: an anesthesiologist in Colorado, an Orlando father of three, a dozen patients at a hospital in Texas, all of whom have received what’s known as convalescent plasma, an investigational therapy to halt the deadly virus. And they wonder why Garcia — the outgoing, ambitious father of a 9-year-old