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Husband and wife helping coronavirus researchers in very different ways

Posted at 11:33 AM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 14:33:28-04

A California husband and wife have been battling COVID-19 ever since it invaded their cruise ship in January, but the virus impacted each of them differently.

"We were just looking to get away and have a great time, which we did," said Jeri Seratti-Goldman. "We had an amazing two-week vacation."

She and her husband, Carl, own KHTS, a radio station in Santa Clarita, California.

"The day we were supposed to leave, we were all put in quarantine in our rooms," Jeri recalled.

The couple made it through the two-week quarantine feeling fine, but on the plane ride home, Carl woke up with a fever. He was sent to the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

"I was in Omaha a total of 29 days, which is a long haul there," he said. "Ten days in bio-containment and then the lower-level of care, and then kept testing positive. It stayed with me."

Mysteriously, though, Jeri tested negative the entire time.

She was not only exposed to the virus by her husband, but several others as well while on a bus for six hours and then the 10-hour flight home. She quarantined for two weeks and continued to test negative.

"We've had people from all over the world want to test my blood," said Jeri.

They'll look for antibodies to see if she actually had the virus at some point but never showed symptoms. If she never had it, they'll study other factors to try and figure out why it appears she can't contract the virus.

"I'm very excited about it, especially if we can help people," she said. "Does it have to do with the O+ blood? Does it have to do with my lifestyle? Does it have to do with the supplements I take, the cryotherapy I do a few times a week?"

"How she bypassed that is a wonder, and hopefully it provides some answers," Carl said.

He, too, is helping researchers, donating platelets that could be used to help people fighting the virus.

"All the reports are showing that I can't pick up the virus for many, many, many months," he said. "What they don't know is next spring, maybe a little variation of the virus will come out, could I get it? That's possible. Could I go the rest of my life without getting it and being immune? That's also possible. They don't know."

Rather than dwell on the unknowns, he's focusing on what he can control: helping his community and keeping a positive outlook.

"Each time I pick up the dog poop, now I do it with a smile and a whole new appreciation," he said.

He hopes we all come out of this having learned important lessons.

"Hopefully, we come out better," he said.