Bay area couple tested for COVID-19 antibodies with help from 8 On Your Side

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Bay Area couple is thanking 8 On Your Side for helping them get tested for COVID-19 antibodies, even though they’re questioning the results of their tests.

“We thought we would probably have antibodies because Don had tested positive and I had been diagnosed with COVID,” Linda Oakley-Hankins said.

Oakley-Hankins and her husband Don Hankins originally reached out to 8 On Your Side because they would like to donate plasma to help others fighting coronavirus.

The results from both of their rapid 15 minutes tests did not detect the presence of antibodies for COVID-19, they told 8 On Your Side.

“I question more now than before the accuracy of the testing kits that are out there,” Oakley-Hankins said.

Two weeks ago, 8 On Your Side shared their story with the CEO of Abacus Pharma International CEO Dr. Vincent DeGennaro and how Oakley-Hankins felt her doctor helped her recover from coronavirus symptoms.

Dr. DeGennaro pledged to send a box of 25 tests to their AdventHealth doctor for free.

“I wish I could do his for every doctor in the country,” Dr. DeGennaro said. “I understand how frustrating it is. We just don’t have the capacity. For this one special doctor, absolutely.”

Dr. DeGennaro stands by the accuracy of the company’s test, citing four trials that show they’re effectiveness saying samples and data have been sent for review by the National Institutes of Health.

For now, Mr. and Mrs. Hankins say they’ll keep taking precautions in public, like wearing gloves and masks in stores, and they hope others will do the same.

“What we’re doing for ourselves is right, we’re protecting ourselves, and we’re not just relying on testing,” Oakley-Hankins said.

An AdventHealth spokesperson said they are working on staring in-house antibody testing for their doctors this month.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that antibody testing will be available soon at drive-thru coronavirus testing sites across the state.

Medical experts say over time antibody testing may help us learn if people recovered from this coronavirus are at a lower risk for infection again.

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