Plasma donation drive held at Fort Stewart to help fight COVID-19

Plasma donation drive held at Fort Stewart to help fight COVID-19

FORT STEWART, Ga. (WTOC) - The fight against COVID-19 continues, and now the military community is rolling up their sleeves to help.

The Department of Defense is asking those who have recovered from the virus to donate their plasma. The Armed Services Blood Program made a stop at Fort Stewart for donations.

Master Sgt. Damon Webb wears his uniform with pride, as he serves alongside his brothers and sisters in arms. However, he was doing a different type of service on Thursday -- spending around 30 minutes to join in the fight against COVID-19, by donating his plasma.

In early June, Webb tested positive for the virus.

“My eyes were itchy, had a little bit of a headache. I had a cough, but I knew there was something amiss whenever I have a very slight fever,” Master Sgt. Webb said.

Although his symptoms were mild and he recovered in a few days, Webb knows others aren’t as lucky as him, which is what brought him out to day two of Fort Stewart’s donation drive.

“We got a much better turnout. A lot of soldiers came down,” said Maj. Jocelyn Adviento, with Kendrick Memorial Blood Center.

The Department of Defense is conducting a nationwide effort to collect plasma from anyone in the military community who has recovered from COVID-19 in hopes of treating other patients on post.

“It’s helping to save lives. It’s really the main goal of what we’re doing today,” said Maj. Adviento.

When someone contracts COVID-19, their immune system creates antibodies to fight it. Those antibodies are found in the plasma.

The DOD’s goal is to collect 10,000 units by Sept. 30. Maj. Adviento said they’ve reached 65 percent of that goal. There’s still a long way to go, but she said she is thankful for the donors who’ve chosen to give back.

“If this could help somebody get well or maybe even keep from getting sick later, of course it’s worth it,” said Webb.

Thursday was the last day the Armed Services Blood Program will be at Fort Stewart, but they are planning to hold other donation drives around the country to help meet the Department of Defense’s goal.

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