This Christmas Flight Lieutenant Daniel Wilde from No. 2 Expeditionary Health Squadron at RAAF Base Darwin is giving the gift of liquid gold to people suffering from COVID-19.
Having contracted the virus earlier this year while on deployment, he is now donating convalescent plasma, which is the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies.
Once someone has recovered from COVID-19, the virus antibodies stay in their plasma, which may help boost the immunity of patients still battling the virus.
Flight Lieutenant Wilde said he was asymptomatic when he tested positive and was now grateful to be able to help others who are fighting the virus.
“Even though I have been donating blood for almost 10 years now, each time I donate I still get that same sense of fulfilment,” Flight Lieutenant Wilde said.
“It is always a nice moment to sit and recharge and remember that there are a lot of other things going on outside your own life.”
Flight Lieutenant Wilde said the process of donating convalescent plasma was a straightforward process which takes about two hours.
“Donating convalescent plasma is much the same process as a normal plasma donation, except that during the first appointment they collect extra vials for testing to ensure that you have the antibodies,” he said.
Now embarking on weekly donations for 12 weeks at the Darwin Red Cross Lifeblood donation centre, Flight Lieutenant Wilde is strongly encouraging others to donate.
“I would definitely encourage people to contact Red Cross Lifeblood to discuss their eligibility to donate,” he said.
“I have only ever had a great experience when donating. The staff are lovely, you feel valued afterwards and the organisation as a whole is well run and professional, and most importantly you know that you are helping someone, which feels great.”
Lifeblood Chief Executive Shelly Park said donating convalescent plasma was a simple, powerful act that could help a patient struggling to fight the virus.
“It is a real opportunity for people who have battled COVID-19 to become part of a potential solution,” Ms Park said.
“I would urge anyone who has recovered from a confirmed case of COVID-19 who thinks they may be eligible to donate blood to contact us.”