Back to Top Skip to main content

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

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...

COVID-19 Response

Video
11/27/2020
DHA Seal

Army Pfc. David Alvarado, assigned to the Javits New York Medical Station (JNYMS), talks about their position at JNYMS in support of the Department of Defense COVID-19 response, April 24, 2020. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, is providing military support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities in need. (U.S. Army Video by Cpl. Rachel Thicklin.)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Minimize COVID-19 holiday spread with small gatherings, mask wearing

Article
11/25/2020
Soldiers standing in a line, wearing masks

The holiday season is upon us, and so is a drastic rise in coronavirus cases.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NMRTU Everett Hospitalman makes a difference

Article
11/24/2020
Technician wearing a mask, giving a shot to a soldier

For much of 2020, Scott has also done her share and more to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Army conducts commercial aircraft decontamination efficacy test

Article
11/24/2020
Man wearing mask, looking at ceiling of an airplane

Two commercial sprayers and two commercial liquid disinfectants will be tried in different combinations on surfaces in the passenger area to gauge effectiveness.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Navy PA continues to care for COVID-19 caregivers

Article
11/19/2020
Three soldiers, wearing masks, demonstrating a hearing test

As a PAt, Osborn works hand-in-hand with supervising physicians and surgeons.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NICoE & ISC Network maintain TBI care during COVID-19

Article
11/19/2020
Image of United States map with locations noted

The Network leveraged their geographic distribution to help each other quickly adapt to changing times.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Traumatic Brain Injury

San Antonio volunteers sought for Warp Speed vaccine trials

Article
11/18/2020
Woman typing on laptop

DOD sites are open on a voluntary basis to Military Health System beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Army combat medic earns U.S. citizenship, plans to continue serving

Article
11/18/2020
Two men wearing masks, one in a car, one leaning in the car

The native of Brazil is part of the COVID-19 testing team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army doctors provide COVID-19 safety tips for the holiday season

Article
11/17/2020
Soldiers wearing masks, looking at flight information in airport

Celebrating the holidays during a pandemic may bring additional challenges for people this year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | November Toolkit | November Holidays and Observances

Military Health System participating in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Article
11/17/2020
Woman measuring out a vaccine into a needle

How you can help test the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

BACH behavioral health team honored with Army’s Wolf Pack Award

Article
11/17/2020
Military personnel standing in a room, listening to a speaker

The ceremony honored eight individuals and three teams who contributed to exceeding the goal of collecting 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

November Toolkit | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DHA leaders recognize CCP collection campaign contributors & donors

Article
11/16/2020
Three military personnel in uniform, wearing masks, in front of flags

The ceremony honored those who contributed to exceeding the goal of collecting 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Article
11/16/2020
Image of two military personnel wearing masks

NMRTU Everett was commended by the MHS 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus

Holiday Season Guidance to Minimize Spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
11/16/2020

This memorandum provides guidance to help protect individuals within the DoD community from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for gatherings and activities during the November to January holiday season.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 21

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.