“The data is what they need to speed this thing up,” said Chris Francis while sitting on a park bench next to his wife. “Whether it’s solutions or, even better, prevention, they just need data because it’s so new.”
Chris and Krista Francis recently recovered from coronavirus. They don't know how they contracted the virus. However, it deprived Krista Francis of her senses of taste and smell and gave Chris Francis a nagging cough. Both have since been cleared of COVID-19 but Krista Francis still has not regained her sense of taste and has only recovered some of her smell.
Chris Francis is a filmmaker and documented their journey in a film called “Making Lemonade." NBC 7 first met the duo in April before they finished the film, which included participating in upwards of 20 studies related to the coronavirus.
“The quicker they can get more data, the safer this world’s going to be for everybody,” said Chris Francis, who discovered he carried COVID-19 antibodies.
Chris Francis donated his COVID-19 convalescent plasma at the San Diego Blood Bank several weeks ago. On Sunday, President Donald Trump announced the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the plasma to treat patients suffering from the virus.
An immediate outcry from medical providers and researchers had the FDA reverse its ruling.
“There’s a lot of work that remains to be done.”
That’s the blunt statement from the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mark Edmunds at the San Diego Blood Bank. He said COVID-19 convalescent plasma has shown to work in a few dire cases, but he added it’s not enough to permit widespread use.
“There definitely needs to be more research collected,” he said.
Chris and Krista Francis deferred to the professionals on the convalescent plasma, but still encouraged people to donate blood.
“It’s going to be helpful anyways. People need plasma, regardless if they have COVID or not,” Krista Francis said.
“If it helps a hundred percent of the people or one percent of the people, if it helps just one person, it’s worth it for us to participate,” explained Chris Francis.
Their light-hearted “Making Lemonade” documentary is being distributed globally by Indie Rights. Chris said they’ve entered it into several film festivals and it soon should be available on streaming platforms like Amazon and Google Play.
“We kind of turned our journey into ‘How can we help others?’” Chris Francis said.
“I just felt like this was such a practical way to help people,” concluded Krista Francis.