Charles Oppermann is a COVID-19 survivor. He feels the donation of convalescent plasma he received in the hospital saved his life. He has become a local superhero by making multiple donations of his convalescent plasma.

A few months ago, I wrote a story about Charles Oppermann and his battle with COVID-19. Oppermann was about to be put on a ventilator due to his breathing issues related to the virus. Before he was hooked up to the ventilator, he sent a text to the daughter of his girlfriend, Shirley, to ask for her permission to marry her mom. When she responded “Yes,” he then sent Shirley a text asking her to marry him once he was out of the hospital.

My story came out and so did the secret of his proposal to Shirley.

“We hadn’t told anyone and once the story came out, everyone was calling Shirley to congratulate us,” Oppermann said. “We hadn’t told any of our families that I asked her to marry me, so it was a huge surprise to everyone.”

Shirley and Oppermann are still together, but they have decided that they will not make their engagement official until 2021.

“We didn’t want to have our engagement associated with 2020, the pandemic and me being sick with COVID,” Oppermann said. “So, we are waiting until early 2021 to make our engagement official. We are still very much in love and the whole COVID thing has made our family a lot closer and have started a few new family traditions. Shirley and I and my ex-wife, Anthea, and my son, Grayson, recently all did a 5K together.”

Oppermann strongly believes his life was saved by the convalescent plasma donation he received while he was in the hospital battling COVID.

“If it wasn’t for that transfusion, I know I would not be here today,” Oppermann said. “I got the convalescent plasma and I immediately started to get better.”

That transfusion is the reason Oppermann recently began donating his convalescent plasma.

“I was honored to receive someone’s donated convalescent plasma, so I feel it is my obligation to donate so I can help someone like someone’s donation helped me,” Oppermann said. “I will continue to donate my convalescent plasma as many times as they will let me donate. I truly believe convalescent plasma saved my life from COVID and I want to help save other lives. No one should be afraid to donate blood or convalescent plasma because the process is very easy and safe. I felt completely safe while I have made my donations.”

To make a blood or convalescent plasma donation, visit OneBlood at

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.