A science teacher from High Wycombe is believed to be the most prolific female coronavirus blood plasma donor at a major hospital.

Lizzi Wallace, 38, has made five trips to the John Radcliffe Hospital since June to give the potentially life-saving plasma, and has another planned for Sunday.

She said: “Donating plasma has absolutely helped me rationalise lockdown and the whole corona issue – it’s given me a purpose, and I respond so much better to solution rather than problem.

“I have loved learning all about the science as it develops and it’s super cool to be a part of the knowledge as it becomes clearer.”

Blood plasma is a yellowish liquid that makes up about half of a person's blood volume.

After a virus, this plasma contains antibodies that are used to help fight infection.

Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of someone who has recovered from a virus, in this case Covid-19.

Mrs Wallace, who travels to the JR from High Wycombe, came down with the virus in mid-March, before the country went into lockdown.

As testing for Covid-19 was limited at the time she was not sure she had the virus but had many of the symptoms including a loss of taste and smell.

She said: "It's still affecting me now, I can't smell the flowers in my garden."

In May, she decided to buy an antibody test to see if she'd had the virus and once it was confirmed decided to see if she was eligible to donate blood plasma.

It is hoped such convalescent plasma can be used to save the lives of people who develop the virus in the next few weeks during an anticipated second wave.

Bucks Free Press:

Pictures from Lizzi Wallace's blood plasma donations at the JR

The mother-of-two said counting down every two weeks since June has helped her get through lockdown and given her a measurable way of staying positive over the summer holidays.

She added: “Corona will remain part of our lives for a long time and we all have to find ways to keep positive and look after each other.

“My 10 units of antibody plasma could’ve saved 10 lives, and that feels awesome.”

She said she had noticed the Oxford clinic becoming emptier, and last time she was the only donor there, adding: "The receptionist said I was the woman who had been in the most. Usually it is men who donate blood plasma as they tend to have higher antibody levels."

More than 920 donations have already been taken at Oxford donor centre so far but NHS Blood and Transplant last week said donors were urgently needed as currently around seven per cent of appointments are not being filled, due to the national reduction in cases.

Mrs Wallace said: “Apparently people are scared to continue to donate with a potential second wave on the way, worried that they need the antibodies rather than donating. But immunity doesn’t work that way.

“I figure the process probably boosts my levels if anything, and it seems more important than ever to contribute.

“The staff at the donor centre are amazing - always putting me at ease, distracting me with silly stories when it’s needle time and plying with snacks and drinks.

“They are so kind and positive, I genuinely look forward to visiting.”

She said did not know if her donations would ultimately prove to be a useful treatment for Covid-19, as research is still being done on the virus, but the plasma could also be used for patients such as burn victims.

She added: "Whatever happens my experience is going to go to use in my biology lessons."

An NHS Blood and Transplant spokesperson said: “Every offer to donate is incredibly valuable and we thank Lizzi for all she has done.

“We need to collect convalescent plasma now, to make sure plasma is readily available for the trial to treat people currently in hospital.”

They added: “Donations can also be frozen to ensure convalescent plasma is readily available, should there be a rise in infections in the coming weeks.

“Anyone who has had coronavirus, either a test result or the symptoms, can offer to donate at a donor centre by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting the NHSBT website.”

“Please help the NHS fight Covid-19 by donating. You could save lives.”