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...

Meeting Italian COVID-19 requirements, Army reopens dining facility

Article
3/31/2020
Picture of chef preparing food

The dining facility is fully operational, even providing food deliveries to people in quarantine

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Coping with the stress of social distancing

Article
3/31/2020
Image of person alone in room

How to navigate the COVID-19 outbreak

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Psychological Fitness

Policy Exception for Telehealth Use for ABA during COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication
3/30/2020

Communication to ABA Providers Regarding Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 During the COVID-19 National Emergency

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Health Program

Q & A: Policy Exception for Telehealth Use for ABA during COVID-19 Pandemic

Publication
3/30/2020

Question and Answer: TRICARE Autism Care Demonstration (ACD): Regarding Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 during the COVID-19 National Emergency

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | TRICARE Health Program

Defense Health Agency takes action against COVID-19

Article
3/30/2020
Image of medical worker  putting on gloves and a mask

From call centers to hospital reform, the Defense Health Agency is working quickly to keep citizens safe from the novel coronavirus

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MHS Minute Combatting COVID 19

Video
3/30/2020
The MHS Minute, Special Edition: COVID-19

Agencies across the federal government are partnering up to combat COVID-19. Find out how the Military Health System is doing its part to support the U.S. response to this pandemic, while ensuring our Service members remain ready.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

USNS Comfort to join New York's COVID-19 fight

Article
3/30/2020
Reservists in camouflage uniforms stand in line to check in

The Comfort is 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the people of New York, said Trump

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Military scientists, engineers develop ventilator prototype in response to COVID-19

Article
3/27/2020
Dr. Andrew Schicho, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division mechanical engineer, led one of the five teams by building a ventilator prototype in support of the Department of Defense Hack-a-Vent Innovation Challenge. (U.S. Navy photo by Eddie Green)

The team decided that building ventilators was how they serve the best at a time like this.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

200 new doctors, nurses to join military medical ranks early

Article
3/27/2020
Military medical professionals take their oath at their graduation from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences during a ceremony in Washington, May 18, 2019. More than 200 USU military medical students and graduate nursing students will be graduating early in 2020 to support their colleagues in the U.S. military health system amid the global coronavirus pandemic. (DoD file photo)

Military medical students will be graduating early to support the Military Health System amid the coronavirus pandemic

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Nurses Week

In a COVID-19 world, pace yourself to stay resilient and avoid burnout

Article
3/26/2020
Kelly Blasko, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and the lead for mobile health clinical integration at the Defense Health Agency Connected Health branch. She shares what providers can do to pace themselves and use self-care practices and tools to stay resilient and avoid burnout. (DoD photo by Savannah Blackstock)

Our response to COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Need for blood donations constant despite COVID-19

Article
3/26/2020
Medical soldiers from the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard, host a blood drive at Fort Bliss, Texas. The need for donated blood is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Army photo by Lt. Col. Cindi King)

Limited shelf life, canceled blood drives threaten supply

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Nearly 10,000 Guardsmen called up for COVID-19 response

Article
3/25/2020
Army Sgt. Moises Castillo of the California Army National Guard helps an Amador County resident load food supplies into a vehicle at the Interfaith Food Bank in Jackson, Calif., March 23, 2020. (U.S. Army photo illustration by Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Eddie Siguenza)

The president left control of the National Guard to the governors and the adjutant generals

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

DoD aims to fill medical gaps with military while states, cities ramp up

Article
3/24/2020
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks to reporters during a news conference at the Pentagon to discuss the department's efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 23, 2020. (DoD photo by Army Staff Sgt. Brandy Nicole Mejia)

The secretary sees the military filling gaps in cities, states until they can deal with COVID-19 on their own

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

USNS Mercy departs San Diego

Article
3/24/2020
The hospital ship USNS Mercy navigates the San Diego channel March 23. 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. This allows shore base hospitals to focus their efforts on COVID-19 cases. One of the Department of Defense’s missions is Defense Support of Civil Authorities. DoD is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, as well as state, local and public health authorities in helping protect the health and safety of the American people. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lasheba James)

Mercy's mission is to provide full hospital services to support U.S. disaster relief and humanitarian operations worldwide.

Recommended Content:

Civil Military Medicine | Civil Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

Air Force takes steps to assure ‘unblinking’ operations, readiness and capabilities amid pandemic

Article
3/23/2020
Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg.

Within the Air Force, our medics are executing all available measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus
<< < ... 31 32 33 34 35  ... > >> 
Showing results 511 - 525 Page 35 of 38

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.