Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

In this Together: Military Couple Recovers from COVID-19, Donates Convalescent Plasma

Couple wearing masks, holding bags of plasma Retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Trae King-Latimer and her husband Jerome Latimer believe they contracted COVID-19 around the time of their first-year wedding anniversary. After fully recovering from COVID-19, they wanted to help those still fighting the disease and donated convalescent plasma together. (Courtesy Photo)

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Collection Program (CCP) is a Department of Defense effort to collect 10,000 units of convalescent plasma donated by members of the military community who have recovered from the disease. Convalescent plasma will be used to treat critically ill patients and to support the development of an effective treatment against the disease. Eligible donors should contact the Armed Services Blood Program at https://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/Donors/COVID-19andBloodDonation.aspx to find a complete list of available collection centers.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, there is a heavy amount of difficult news, but there are also rays of hope and inspiration on the path. COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors Trae King-Latimer and her husband Jerome Latimer serve as examples of the generosity of service members and their families, as they continue serve through their donation.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma, or CCP, is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is no approved treatment for the disease at this time. There is information that suggests CCP might help some patients recover from the disease.

When a person contracts a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - their immune system then creates antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies are found in the person’s plasma, the liquid part of blood. Plasma with these infection-fighting antibodies is called “convalescent plasma.” Through the blood donation process, this plasma can be collected from a fully recovered person and provided to a patient who is still fighting the virus.

A retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. of 30-years, King-Latimer, and her husband believe they contracted COVID-19 around March 16 — of all things, the couple’s one-year anniversary. they believe that they became infected from Latimer’s place of work, since a few individuals there had tested positive for COVID-19. After their symptoms started, they were officially diagnosed on April 9.

“We had every symptom except shortness of breath,” explained Latimer. “We experienced body aches, chills, coughing, loss of smell, loss of taste, etcetera. We suffered all the major symptoms. The recovery lasted way too long for us, it was about 5-7 weeks total to fully recover from this.”

As she and her husband recovered, King-Latimer was keeping an eye out for COVID-19 in the news, learning more about the disease. That’s where she heard about CCP and wanted to know more. Serendipitously, around this time she received a call from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center about the CCP program to see if she would be willing to donate. Wanting to find out more, she called the number they provided for the Armed Services Blood Bank Center – National Capital Region and spoke with the blood donor recruiter, who provided more information and qualifications to donate convalescent plasma.

King-Latimer, who had given blood several times with the Armed Services Blood Program while in the Service, didn’t need to be asked twice. Latimer, a first-time donor, agreed to donate as well. The couple, having never donated via apheresis — or even what that process entailed — were ready to help. People were dying, even people King-Latimer knew. “We were going to donate no matter what the process was,” she stated.

Echoed Latimer, “The reason for donating was to help someone who may be suffering and in need of our donation. Our experience was real, it was alarming, especially since so many were passing away … we felt obligated to help others since we were blessed enough to recover.”

In an unprecedented time, family, neighbors, and the community rallied around them during their recovery. It made King-Latimer, a contractor at the Pentagon, recall her military days due to the warm treatment she received.

“We don’t live around the military community right now,” explained King-Latimer. “When we had COVID-19 and were recovering, our neighbors and community were awesome and so helpful. It was like that military family feeling for us. So when we went to donate it was that feeling of family, community. When you think about donating for this program, think of it as donating for a family member. For your military family.”

When asked about the experience and why people should come out and donate, King-Latimer was emphatic. “Don’t be scared to do it. We didn’t know [fully what apheresis plasma donation was like]. Once we got there, the entire team was amazing! If you are worried or scared about it, think about how beneficial it is to those who need it. It [apheresis donation time] was about 45-60 minutes to help save someone, and that was well worth it.”

As one who has fully recovered from COVID-19 and now a successful CCP donor, King-Latimer said she would consider donating again. Her husband added, “I would tell anyone it’s a great way to give back, and that by doing so, you can possibly help save a life or two.” Latimer went on to praise the ASBP team, adding, “the experience was inspiring.”

You also may be interested in...

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
DHA Seal

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Town Hall May 26 2021

Video
5/26/2021
Town Hall May 26 2021

RADM Anne Swap will discuss the National Capital Region's response to COVID-19

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | National Capital Region Market

MHS Town Hall, May 12, 2021

Video
5/12/2021
MHS and Military OneSource COVID-19 Townhall, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Wednesday 12 May

Tune in for another MHS and Military OneSource Town Hall with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

COVID-19 Townhall, April 28, 2021

Video
4/27/2021
Town Hall image of Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm, Armed Services Blood Program

Tune in for another COVID-19 vaccine update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm, Armed Services Blood Program

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Armed Services Blood Program

Donate Blood: It's Mission Critical

Video
4/21/2021
DHA Seal

The pandemic has affected nearly every part of our lives, including reductions in blood donations. Find a military blood donor center today to donate blood in a safe environment where we take all precautions against COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus

Got Your 6: Step Up

Video
3/18/2021
Got Your 6: Step Up

“Got Your 6” is TRICARE’s COVID-19 vaccine video series that delivers important information and updates, three times a month. It includes the latest information about DoD vaccine distribution, the TRICARE health benefit, and vaccine availability for a DoD-affiliated, and TRICARE beneficiary audience.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

TRICARE | COVID-19 Vaccine | Together, We Are Stronger

Video
3/15/2021
DHA Seal

In the past year, we've faced challenges, and we've done it with courage. Now, hope is on the horizon. Get vaccinated, and let's take care of each other. Together, we are stronger: www.tricare.mil/CovidVaccine

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Secretary of Defense Video to the Force on COVID-19 Vaccinations

Video
2/24/2021
Image of soldier looking through COVID vaccine information laid out on a table

The Secretary of Defense addressed the entire workforce to encourage informed decision-making with regards to coronavirus-19 vaccination.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS Minute: A Path Forward in 2021

Video
2/10/2021
DHA Seal

Want to know more about what MHS organizations and partners did in 2020? For a full look at the MHS Minute series, click here: https://shorturl.at/eDL14

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

LTG Place Vaccine Roll-Out Video

Video
1/18/2021
DHA Seal

DHA Director LTG Ron Place talks about coronavirus vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and encourages everyone to do their own research to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

MHS Minute: December 2020

Video
12/28/2020
DHA Seal

See how MHS is leading a phased approach to offer 11.1 million Department of Defense personnel the first COVID-19 vaccines. To learn more about the safety and efficacy behind COVID-19 vaccines, go to: https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Combat-Support/Public-Health/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccine-Efforts.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.