KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A pastor in Tennessee with pre-existing medical conditions is crediting the Lord for saving his life after he recently ended up in the hospital on a ventilator in contracting COVID-19.
“It is a miracle, me, with the age that I am, the pre-existing conditions I have, that I pulled through that, and that’s nothing short of God himself,” Michael Napier, pastor of Berea Baptist Church in Knoxville and executive director of Family Christian Academy, told local television station WATE.
According to the outlet, Napier, 60, has diabetes and liver issues, and because of this, he heeded the precautions when the pandemic began affecting the United States.
In August, Napier went to the doctor after experiencing a sore throat and shortness of breath, but his COVID test came back negative. As his condition worsened, he obtained a chest x-ray and was told that he had pneumonia.
A few days later, Napier was rushed to the hospital, where he was again tested for COVID. This time it came back positive.
Doctors soon told him to call his wife, and both thought that such meant the end. A tearful Napier recalled having his wife tell him about some of the good times they had together, as one doctor recommended. He was only given a 15 percent chance of survival.
“Of course I knew; they already told me in the ER that there was an 85 percent mortality rate when they’re intubated,” Linda Napier told the outlet.
Napier was also placed in a medically-induced coma and was given antibodies and other treatments, like Remdesivir, to help his body win the battle. He fought for several weeks.
In the meantime, members of the church gathered in the pastor’s front yard to pray.
“I asked God to perform a miracle, so that everyone would know it was Him that did it and He’d get the honor and glory,” Linda Napier said.
Three weeks into the hospitalization, doctors called with good news: Napier could be removed from the ventilator. He also soon woke up from the coma.
But he still had a road to recovery as he was weak and couldn’t walk. Thankfully, Napier was able to be transferred to the rehabilitation center that he preferred, where staff members lovingly took time to help him get well enough to go home.
He is currently on a walker, and lost 70 pounds from the ordeal, but is thankful to be alive.
“It was nothing more than God himself. And it’s because of my faith in Him that He took care of it. And I believe He’s left me here for this story,” Napier stated.
Rick Krane, pastor of Covenant Community Church in Manzanita, Oregon, also was interviewed by a local news outlet as he likewise contracted the novel coronavirus in August.
He was hospitalized for over a month at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland and returned home on Sept. 21. Krane similarly lost 60 pounds from the battle and says that he was very afraid after first being admitted that he might die.
“I was so fearful when I came in here. All I kept on saying is, ‘Am I going to die?’ And I’m a Christian, I’m a pastor; I know where I’m going. But all that fear was just poured all over me,” Krane recalled to The Astorian. “And what they told me was, ‘Rick, you’re going to have to just wait for your body’s need for the oxygen to go down.’”
Krane now says that while the virus should be taken seriously as it is “very dangerous,” he also wants to encourage others in the midst of the pandemic.
“I just want to give some hope for people,” Krane outlined. “There’s so much fear, and fear is not a good master to make decisions with, facts are. People need to understand the magnitude, that this is very, very serious. This is not a hoax. But when we are given into fear, we treat each other fearfully and we lose our sense of centeredness.”