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...

Palliative care provides comfort to COVID-19 patients, families

Article
5/17/2021
Military health personnel taking care of a patient

Medical Center team develops palliative care toolkit for COVID-19 patients

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Military medicine heroes recognized for COVID-19 pandemic response

Article
5/17/2021
Photo of the virtual "Heroes of Military Medicine" award ceremony

COVID-19 pandemic will affect military medicine for years to come, DHA Director Place tells HJF awards ceremony.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA leadership recognizes, advances 60th MDG mission

Article
5/14/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Place visits Travis Air Force Base

DHA leadership visit 60th Medical Group at Travis AFB.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS GENESIS

Teamwork, adaptability, service – MTFs shine during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
5/14/2021
People at screening area

MHS readiness was put to the test at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, in early 2020.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Toolkit | May | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

Join Us!! Sixth Live COVID-19 Town Hall

Article
5/12/2021
Image describing today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD.  They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Join us for today's Town Hall with Dr. Paul Scott and COL Clinton K. Murray, MD. They are with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and will discuss COVID-19 Vaccine Advancement and Trials.

Recommended Content:

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

Navy nurse steps into Jacksonville community for COVID-19 vaccinations

Article
5/7/2021
Military health personnel wearing face mask discussing the COVID-19 vaccine program

Navy Cmdr. Glenn “Pete” Bradford is aiding the underserved Jacksonville community in COVID-19 vaccination mission

Recommended Content:

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

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | National Nurses Week | Technology | Nurses Week | Mental Health Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Readiness Capabilities

EACH celebrates National Nurses Week with a reflection on the pandemic

Article
5/6/2021
Military health personnel inputting information into a computer

Evans Army Community Hospital celebrates National Nurses Week 2021.

Recommended Content:

National Nurses Week | Nurses Week | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine returns to Military Health System

Article
5/4/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine became available April 29 to those in the Military Health System eligible and authorized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

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

U.S. continues sending medical supplies to India for COVID-19 fight

Article
5/3/2021
A picture of a C-5M Super Galaxy

DOD provides medical aid to India in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

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

U.S. Army Medical Team Administers COVID-19 Vaccines in Guam

Article
4/29/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Army medical professionals assist in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to local Guamanians.

Recommended Content:

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

Military kids are resilient, but far from immune to pandemic effects

Article
4/28/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask holding up posters for Month of the Military Child

Military children are known for being resilient to constant change, but COVID-19 has affected their mental health, too.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient | Coronavirus

COVID-19 remote patient monitoring pilot marks initial successes

Article
4/27/2021
Photo of Army Maj. Daniel Yourk

Virtual health and other digital health technologies are an essential part of care delivery going forward for all patients, and especially the most vulnerable.

Recommended Content:

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

Join Us!! Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm!

Article
4/27/2021
Fourth MHS Town Hall announcement with image of Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm, discussing the Critical Need for Blood Donations, Wednesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. ET

Join us for the MHS' Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | MHS and Military OneSource To Your Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 26

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.