NEW YORK, N.Y. — A doctor, chaplain and pastor are crediting the hand of God in the recovery of a Queens pastor who spent 54 days on a ventilator and six weeks in an induced coma battling COVID-19.
“The God of miracles did numerous miracles in my life,” Benjamin Thomas of Queens Church of God said in a video posted online. “I’m very happy to be home.”
Thomas, who has no underlying medical conditions, was checked for the novel coronavirus in March as he had a persistent fever. His test result came back positive, but he was sent back home and instructed to call 911 if his condition worsened.
His wife soon had to call for an ambulance as he developed shortness of breath, and he was transported to Nassau University Medical Center to be treated. He was placed on a ventilator for support.
As Thomas was not improving, his family reached out to Dr. Robin Varghese, a cardiovascular surgeon at Mount Sinai Medical Center, to ask if there was anything that could be done to help him. Varghese’s ICU unit had been used to treat COVID patients during the apex of the pandemic.
The doctor had Thomas transferred to the medical facility — a risky move in and of itself, but as the pastor’s body was not responding to medical treatment, those caring for him began to lose hope.
On April 19 — a particularly bleak day, as Varghese was on call, he went into Thomas’ room and began to pray.
“I told God that there’s nothing else I can offer [Thomas]. He’s got to take over because we’ve given him everything that modern medicine can throw at him,” Varghese recalled.
That same night, Vargese studied Thomas’ case and began to have a few ideas come to mind of treatments they could try.
He that said Thomas’ condition incrementally began to turn around after that point.
“I turned. I changed. I started to respond to the medicine,” Thomas told the New York Daily News.
“He started to make slow — very slow but steady — progress,” Varghese recalled. “His lungs were just ravaged by the COVID-19 virus.”
“By the middle of May, we all started to see hope that he was going to make it,” he joyed, patting Thomas on the shoulder in the video. “We’re very happy that he continued to progress and he started to wake up.”
Varghese thanked those who had been praying for Thomas. According to the Christian Post, his church started a prayer chain that went around the world.
“We’re thankful for all the people that were continuing to pray for him because we know that was a very important part of his recovery, along with the care by our intensive care team,” Varghese stated in the video.
Chaplain Rocky Walker also remarked that Thomas’ recovery is a demonstration of “the power of God.”
Thomas told the Christian Post that he is glad to have a doctor like Varghese who is “a great man of God” and is not afraid to “lift up the name of Jesus.” He came home July 2 with temporary oxygen support.
“You may call it coincidence,” Thomas told the New York Daily News. “I call it a miracle.”
Psalm 145:18-19 states, “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him. He also will hear their cry and will save them.”