REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF) — A couple from Redwood City who was quarantined not once but twice for the coronavirus may hold the key to understanding and possibly even beating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researchers hope what they find in their blood may lead to possible to possible treatments or even a way to prevent infection.
In late January, Rick and Kathy Wright took a cruise on board the Diamond Princess to celebrate their 28th wedding anniversary
“Having a little romance there. Just celebrating we had all the kids out of the house now,” said Kathy.
“Empty nesters. Woo hoo!” added Rick.
Little did they know, the ship they were on would soon become a petri dish of COVID-19 infections.
They ended up quarantined together in their cabin for over a week.
“We watched some of the news. We watched some really great movies,” remembered Rick.
Then the couple, along with hundreds of other Americans on board, got evacuated back to the U.S. They were quarantined again, this time at Travis Air Force Base.
“And when his luggage hadn’t gotten to Travis yet, we shared a toothbrush together,” said Kathy.
Three days later, Rick tested positive for the virus and was hospitalized at UCSF.
“I never had any symptoms. I was in the hospital room for eight days without any symptoms or feeling ill whatsoever,” said Rick.
As for Kathy, she never got infected.
“I think that’s what amazing. In all the time we were together, I never contracted it,” said Kathy.
Now both of them hope to be part of the cure.
“And he [a lab technician] took eight vials of my blood. And, in the course of doing so, he talked to Kathy and he thought maybe her blood was better than my blood. Because she never got sick though she was with me the whole time,” explained Rick..
A Bay Area biotech company is seeking to harness whatever is in their blood that kept Rick healthy and Kathy uninfected.
“I mean, we’ve gotten through this just fine, but to hear about all the deaths…anything we can do to maybe expedite a vaccine or a cure, anything, we are happy to do,” said Kathy.
“Help society!” added Rick.
Kathy is also a registered nurse. If the need is there, she plans on volunteering her services.