MURRELLS INLET, S.C. — A couple in South Carolina are praising the Lord and thanking their friends for their prayers and support after both survived the novel coronavirus.
“The reality is I was near death. I’ll tell you, faith gets you through anything,” Charles Costello, 66, told local television station WPDE.
Costello and his wife, Diane, had traveled to Europe in March as their anniversary was on the horizon and they wanted to do something special together.
Diane believes in hindsight that her husband contracted the coronavirus sometime on the way back home. Approximately a week after their return, Costello fell sleep in the afternoon and never woke up. The next morning, his wife found him lying the floor.
He was transported to the hospital, and because his condition didn’t warrant admittance at the time, he was tested for coronavirus and sent home.
It came back positive.
Costello’s symptoms soon worsened to the point that he had to return to the hospital and was put on life support to help him breathe. He was also placed in a medically-induced coma.
In the meantime, Diane also tested positive for the coronavirus. She was at risk of complications due to an immune system disorder.
“It was the worst nightmare I’ve ever lived through, because I thought I was going to die at home alone,” Diane recalled.
However, “[w]e had thousands of people praying,” she told WPDE. “One of my friends said to me … ‘Let your faith be stronger than your fear,’ because the fear was horrible, and those words really really got me through.”
Diane would call the hospital to check on her husband and the nurses would relay the words of encouragement that she wanted to tell him — even if he couldn’t respond.
Then, one day, Diane received a phone call. It was good news: Charles had come off the ventilator. Then, she got to hear his voice for the first time in a week.
“He just said, ‘I love you,’ and I was crying like a baby,” she recalled.
On April 8, Costello was cleared to return home and was greeted by cheering neighbors holding signs and balloons. Tidelands Health wrote two stories about his journey.
“He was fighting for his life,” Dr. Desmond Young, a critical care and pulmonary specialist, stated. “It was very much touch and go.”
“His lungs were filling up with virus and inflammation to the point he was not getting enough oxygen, even with advanced supplemented oxygenation,” he explained. “Without mechanical ventilator support, he would have died.”
Costello was also given hydroxychloroquine and Zithromax, along with vitamin C therapy.
He told reporters that the first thought that came to him in realizing that he had overcome the coronavirus was “praise Jesus.”
“First thoughts in my head were just praise Jesus, thank God. He got me through it,” Costello said. “I guess there was some good doctoring in there, too — a lot of good health care.”
Diane Costello also expressed appreciation for the compassion and thoughtfulness that was shown by family and friends.
“Just all of the kindness coming from everywhere just reignited your faith … , because you know God is working through other people,” she said.
“We are two miracles here,” she told WDPE.
“Absolutely,” her husband agreed.
Psalm 116:3-9 state, “The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell got hold upon me. I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord, ‘O Lord, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.’ Gracious is the Lord and righteous. Yea, our God is merciful. The LORD preserveth the simple. I was brought low, and He helped me. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”
“For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”