ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. ( -- Katie Willis loves what she does. As an employee of the St. Charles County Humane Services Division, she works to find permanent homes for dogs and cats in the county. And they've been really successful during this pandemic.

“We actually had an overwhelming response for new fosters, so it got the animals out of the shelter and into homes instead of sitting in a kennel,” she said. “It's really much better for them.”

But in March, Willis was away from the job she loves for most of the month. She became sick and tested positive for COVID-19.

“The worst part of when I knew I was really sick was when I was just feeding my dogs at home and I almost fainted,” she said.

Willis describes her case as mild, and now that she's recovered and back to work, she's not just helping animals, but also helping humans.

“My doctor called me and said, ‘Would you be interested in giving plasma to help other patients?’ I said, ‘Of course, yes,” Willis recalled. “I'm all about the community and I like helping people. I was raised that way and like giving back, so I said I'd do what I could do.”

She says the process was fairly painless and, in all, took a couple hours of her time.

“It feels like you're helping other people, which is a really cool thing during this. Because you're so sick and other people are so sick and they're actually getting better with the plasma, so it's kind of cool,” Willis said.

If you're interested in becoming a plasma donor, you can do so at Washington University School of Medicine and at Mercy Hospital.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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