Two days after returning from New Zealand in March, Naida Jillett developed a cough. Within 24 hours she had tested positive for COVID-19.
The 73-year-old is one of the 215 Tasmanians who have recovered from the virus.
Now, she is donating her plasma as part of a national trial to help develop a potentially life saving treatment for coronavirus.
Convalescent plasma is the plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 containing antibodies, which may help boost the immunity of patients still fighting the disease
So far Mrs Jillett has made five donations through the Launceston Red Cross Lifeblood Donor Centre.
While she only experienced mild symptoms, Mrs Jillett said coronavirus had left her feeling very grateful for her good health and fitness.
"The day after I got back I started coughing and I thought - that's a bit strange," she said.
"I rang my doctor, knowing what the symptoms were for it [COVID-19]. I got tested and the next day I found out I was positive.
"But I had a very mild dose of it. It was like having a cold really, although the cough has persisted.
"However, I feel very grateful that I was affected so minimally. I really wasn't that sick, but so many others my age are and people die. It's horrible."
Mrs Jillett's COVID diagnosis was made on March 24. While not certain, it is understood she contracted the virus while on a group tour in Queenstown.
On her return to Tasmania she went on to spend more than a month in isolation at her Legana home, with her daughter.
As Mrs Jillett explained, one of the most challenging aspects was not being able to go on her daily walks.
"My daughter had picked me up from the airport and decided to stay with me once we knew I wasn't well," she said.
"But she also had to do 14 days isolation after I became symptom free.
"I felt I couldn't go off if I have kept her locked up with me. So we stayed locked up for 35 days together.
"But we needed to do something so we started walking around the perimeter of the house. We worked out 50 times around the house came to four kilometres.
"When we were finally allowed out it was incredible. Everyone else was complaining about restrictions, but we felt as free as a bird by then."
To date there have been more than 52 convalescent plasma donations made in Tasmania, from 16 donors.
In order to donate a person must have had a lab confirmed case of COVID-19 and be fully recovered and symptom free for 28 days.
However, a Lifeblood spokeswoman said more donors were still needed.
"The donation process for convalescent plasma donors is the same as a standard plasma donation, taking around 45 minutes at one of our four Tasmanian Blood Donor Centres," she said.
"The plasma we collect will be used to treat patients in clinical trials both as a form of direct treatment and as a medication called COVID-19 immunoglobulin - which may provide passive immunity against coronavirus infections."
After hearing about the study on the news, Mrs Jillett said she couldn't think of a reason not to contribute.
"I had never donated blood or plasma before," she said.
"I had hepatitis A more than 40 years ago, so of course I could never have given blood then. Plus my husband was in mining and we always lived in pretty remote locations.
"When we came back here to Tassie, he became quite ill with Leukaemia and used to need blood a lot.
"I used to think - I should give blood, but I am probably too old now. But I was surprised to learn you can give blood up to the age of 75 now.
"And if you're well, I can keep giving the plasma. So I am going to keep doing that."
Despite having to cut her New Zealand holiday short, along with a cancelled trip to America planned for next month, Mrs Jillett said she considered herself lucky.
"I think this whole COVID experience, it's something like we have never experienced in our life and I guess we never will again - or at least I won't," she said.
"But I feel sad for the young ones who have lost their jobs. I'm at the stage now ... I am retired, I have an income. So it's not really affecting me that much.
"I would have loved to have kept travelling ... but who knows. I don't know if we will ever be able to travel overseas again.
"But that's the least of our worries. I feel very sad for all the businesses that are going under.
"By giving the plasma I feel like I am at least helping someone and it might maybe help find a vaccine."
- If you think you may be able to donate convalescent plasma call 13 14 95 and mention convalescent plasma to see if you are able to help.