DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Sheriff’s Department hosted a unique blood and plasma drive at the Downtown Detention Center on Wednesday. The deputies who donated all have recovered from COVID-19.

“Don’t look when they poke you,” said Deputy Montoya, who asked CBS4 not use his first name.

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He is able to laugh today, but it was a different story when he was struggling with COVID-19.

“As soon as I was feeling bad I knew something was going on,” he said.

Montoya says he was so sick he had to go on leave for about two months.

“High fevers, body aches, just being sick,” he described.

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Yet beyond symptoms, the isolation from family and work was also hard to deal with.  Now that he’s recuperated, he’s doing more than just serving, he’s giving a part of himself to the community.

“If my little bit of blood can help somebody that’s awesome,” Montoya said.

Blood supply at health systems around the country have been struggling due to lower donations, which may have to do with travel restrictions and those affected by the pandemic.

“There are other issues going on in the community that require the donation of blood, and other blood products. 2020 is a unique year and maybe it’s a time for people who have not taken the opportunity to give blood in the past to consider doing so,” Denver Sheriff’s Operations Chief Vince Line said.

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The department is urging everyone else to check at local donation centers and see how you may be able to help.

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LINK: Vitalant Blood Donation