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

Grateful for COVID-19 recovery, DHA employee becomes plasma donor

Woman eating a snack Preet Bains enjoys snacks after donating two units of plasma. Bains is fully recovered from COVID-19 after being sick for about a month. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | Heroes Behind the Mask

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) Collection Program is a Department of Defense effort to obtain 10,000 units CCP with emphasis on blood donations by members of the military community who have recovered from the disease. CCP will be given to critically ill patients, and to support the development of an effective treatment against the disease. Potential donors should visit the Armed Services Blood Program website to find a complete list of available collection centers.


One of the scariest health experiences of my life has turned out to be one of the most rewarding as well. I was sick for a month after coming down with COVID-19. But recovering from the virus enabled me to donate potentially lifesaving plasma.

My health scare began in early March. This was before the region where I live experienced shutdowns of public spaces because of the pandemic. My boyfriend was having a birthday, so a group of us decided to celebrate at an indoor ax-throwing venue. (Ax throwing is like darts, and a lot of fun!)

A few days later, I came down with a sore throat and low-grade fever. My boyfriend also felt unwell. So did three others who'd joined us at the birthday party. They all felt better after a few days, but I didn't. I saw my primary care provider and was tested for the flu and strep throat. Both tests came back negative. Then, around the seventh day of feeling bad, I woke up with shortness of breath. Turns out I had pneumonia, which can be a complication of COVID-19. I also was tested for the virus. Days later, the COVID-19 test came back positive.

Woman wearing mask, holding out both arms with red tape at elbows
Preet Bains, a project manager in the Defense Health Agency's Solution Delivery Division, donated two units of plasma. (Courtesy photo)

My provider advised me to self-quarantine, stay hydrated, rest, take a fever reducer such as Tylenol, and to go to the hospital emergency department if my breathing got worse. Thankfully, that never happened.

My fever broke after about two weeks, and my breathing gradually improved. But I continued to experience weakness and muscle pain, along with occasional shortness of breath. I was worried I'd never be well enough to resume my active lifestyle – yoga, weight training, and cardio exercises.

Finally, after about four months, I felt like myself again. When I heard about the need for COVID-19 convalescent plasma*, or CCP, I didn't hesitate to sign up to donate. The donation itself took about an hour. That's a little longer than a standard blood donation, but it's still a comfortable and painless experience. I donated two units – one unit for plasma, and one unit for blood platelets.

I feel very fortunate that I recovered from COVID-19, and I'm happy that I was able to do something that might help others. I don't want anyone else to experience serious complications or even death from this terrible virus. Donating my plasma was an offering of deep gratitude to the universe. I consider it a wonderful blessing to have been able to potentially ease the suffering of others.

If you've been sick with COVID-19, I'm so sorry you experienced that. But I'm here to tell you, there's some good that can come out of it. Here's more information about donating convalescent plasma.


*Plasma is the yellow, liquid part of blood. COVID-19 convalescent plasma, or CCP, is plasma from patients who have recovered from the virus. CCP may contain antibodies that would help others fighting COVID-19 to recover. The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma to be given to patients hospitalized with the virus, and it's also being studied for the treatment of COVID-19. The Department of Defense has a goal to collect 10,000 units by the end of September.

You also may be interested in...

inTransition Teams Up with the Veterans Crisis Line to Support Service Members in Crisis

Article
4/10/2020
Image of smiling woman with telephone headset sitting at her desk

In response to an increased volume of calls to the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL) since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), inTransition is partnering with the VCL to coordinate certain types of care for active duty service members.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Suicide Prevention

Stay Home Slide Show

Video
4/10/2020
DHA Seal

Slide show of photos from BAMC's #stayhome campaign

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Guardsmen Remain Adaptable in Face of Coronavirus

Article
4/9/2020
Image of two soldiers organizing medical supplies

More than 28,000 National Guardsmen are helping to fight the coronavirus across America

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Authorization to Employ Military Medical Capabilities to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Publication
4/8/2020

Effective immediately, the Commander, U.S Northern Command, is authorized, as he deems necessary and appropriate, to employ military medical capabilities under his operational control to treat patients who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defense Health Official Urges Personnel, Families to Wear Face Masks

Article
4/8/2020
Image of a soldier wearing a face mask

The face-covering mask can be fashioned from simple household items.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Talking to children about COVID-19 helps them feel safe and secure

Article
4/8/2020
mage of a mom and two kids sitting on house steps

USU expert advises tailoring messages for different age groups

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Decision Memorandum on TRICARE Implementation of the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

Publication
4/7/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127, Division F, Section 6006(a), limits TRICARE authority to impose copayment or other cost-sharing for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and related provider visits that result in orders for or administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, cleared, or authorized diagnostic products. In order for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to implement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) must acknowledge the self-executing authority of the statute and direct the Director, DHA, or designee, to issue guidance implementing the statutory provisions.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Coronavirus

Joint Staff Surgeon Praises Americans Stepping Up to Help COVID-19 Victims

Article
4/7/2020
Image of hospital staff holding a meeting

It's about people helping people, flattening the curve, and slowing the spread of the pandemic so hospitals have a bit more time to prepare.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

New York City emergency room doc joins Air National Guard as flight surgeon

Article
4/6/2020
Image of flight surgeon

Paladino is Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and also at Kings County Hospital Center.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask

DoD Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Publication
4/5/2020

Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Policy on Accessions and Accessions Training during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Publication
4/3/2020

The Military Departments must seek ways to maximize accessions in a responsible manner to minimize a reduction in military end strength and the potential deterioration of mid-and long-term readiness and capacity.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

It’s complicated: Our relationship with social media

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldier lying down, looking at his phone

COVID-related story on perils of social media

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

250-patient Army field hospital in Seattle expected to open next week

Article
4/3/2020
Image of soldiers unpacking equipment

The field hospital...will relieve some of the burden on local hospitals, allowing them "freedom of maneuver" to better take care of patients who have COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Transition of Military Medical Treatment Facilities from Military Departments to the Defense Health Agency during the COVID-19 Response

Publication
4/2/2020

The Department's MTF transition plan is conditions-based. While the transition of MTFs to DHA is continuing, the COVID-19 response requirements are impacting DHA's ability to meet all required conditions. The need for the DHA and MILDEPs to refocus efforts away from the transition to support the COVID-19 response led to questions regarding the future of MTF Transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health System Transformation

Navy secretary visits hospital ship Mercy in Port of Los Angeles

Article
4/2/2020
Image of man getting his temperature taken by service member wearing a mask.

Mercy deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < ... 31 32 33 34 35  ... > >> 
Showing results 481 - 495 Page 33 of 36

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.