Coronavirus News: MTA conductor in need of plasma dies of COVID-19

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- An MTA conductor who was in need of plasma after contracting COVID-19 has died.

Union officials put out a desperate call for help earlier this month to get plasma donations for Ben Schaeffer while he was hospitalized in Brooklyn.

The appeal from TWU Local 100 encouraged fellow union members and friends to donate plasma. Members of other unions also stepped up to help.

Schaeffer died on Tuesday at the age of 58 at Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn.

Rapid Transit Operations Vice President Eric Loegel said the response was overwhelming when he put out a call for help.

"I'm devastated by the loss of Ben Schaeffer. Every loss this year has been tough, but this one hits a certain way," Loegel wrote. "Ben's family was so grateful for the outpouring of support for their son. Everybody was pulling for them. It broke my heart when I got that call from Mr. Schaeffer yesterday. I called it an "early night" after that."

"As a Conductor for 22+ years, a shop steward, an elected TWU officer, and a community activist, Ben's life was a light to so many," Loegel said. "All of our fallen members were a light in the darkness. We mourn them all, and vow to keep their spirits with us, and their memories alive. R. I. P. Ben Schaeffer."

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