Cocoa Beach man survives COVID-19, thanks controversial plasma treatment

A remarkable recovery and heated debate.

A local man says convalescent plasma saved his life when he was close to death from the coronavirus.

But that treatment is under major scrutiny right now.

America’s scientists do not agree about how effective the material is when injected into COVID patients.

Mark Twentyman spends some of the year in Cocoa Beach and some of the year in New York State.

He’s a real estate broker and at 68, he’s thinking about full-time retirement to relax and enjoy.

His favorite activity is skiing.

Back in March, Mark went to Colorado with some skiing pals. 

After the vacation, Twentyman got sick, landed in the ICU in Cape Canaveral with a trach, a ventilator, a ruptured and collapsed lung and 29 days of agony. 

He was diagnosed with COVID.

"So I was out of it, but the conversation was going on without me [knowing] to try the convalescent plasma," Twentyman told FOX 35 News.

That’s biomaterial taken from someone who had COVID and recovered. It's thought to be rich with antibodies. 

Mark’s friend, Randy, from the Colorado trip was the donor.

"One doctor told me that they gave me the plasma. I had a 104 fever which broke in 12 hours after the treatment," Twentyman said.

You can hear it in Mark’s voice, there are lingering effects of COVID, some could be long-term, but Mark says this experience has shown him how precious life is.   

"The doctors, up until that point, didn’t give me much hope as I understand it," Twentyman said.

He says doctors told him he was one of the first in the country to get the treatment. 

So what’s next for the skiing, COVID-surviving realtor? 

He says enjoying lots of family time and maybe a trip to Europe next year.