One North Carolina man, who thought he was going to die after contracting COVID-19 last December, says God's healing power spared his life. Now he's sharing his story to encourage others to get vaccinated and to bring people closer to God.
Bob Dawson told CBN News that he was working in Las Vegas last December when he developed a cough. Doctors diagnosed him with COVID and within a few weeks, he was using a ventilator. Dawson's condition continued to decline and he was put into a medically induced coma.
"My wife, Laura, left our home in Kinston and arrived in Nevada," he said. "Doctors told her that I only had a 2% chance to live."
Medical staff believed that if Dawson did pull through, he would have brain damage because his oxygen intake was low for several weeks.
"My wife arranged for me to be flown by plane back home to a hospital in Rocky Mount, North Carolina," with the hopes that he might recover.
But, after being in a coma for two months, Dawson awoke.
"I woke up a paraplegic and couldn't move anything but my head. God had me propped up though," he told CBN News. "I was not depressed. He had me strengthened. I started moving my fingers and picking my arms up."
Gradually, Dawson's condition improved - a triumph that he attributes to the outpouring of prayer from so many people.
"I found out that all these people were praying for me ... over 2,000 people on Facebook. God has got to be pleased that all these people were praying.
"My brother-in-law, who has been my best friend since we were six years old, would wake up in the middle of the night praying for me and crying while holding my picture," Dawson explained. It's all the Lord's work going on … that's what is happening."
The 61-year-old said he wants his story to be a message about "having a relationship with God" because "He is here for you," he told CBN News.
"Through all this, God has revealed to me that I am a miracle. He is still in the miracle business."
He is grateful for the second chance at life and is urging others not to underestimate the seriousness of this disease.
"I knew right then that my reason for being back was sharing my testimony," Dawson said. "What God has done is, he's brought me back. He has held my hand every step of the way. I can do most of the things that a normal person can do.
"Doctors say that I will be on oxygen for the rest of his life but I'm not accepting that. If that's His will, it's okay … I don't like it but it'll be okay. God is a Healer."
And he is hopeful that people will hear about his near-death experience and choose to get vaccinated.
"If you are reluctant on getting the vaccine, trust me, any side effects that you would have from the vaccine would be way less than what I have had to go through because of COVID-19.
"If it keeps one person from going through what I've been through, what my family has been through, that would be a blessing," Dawson added.
His story also represents the hope we can find in Jesus Christ.
"People need a relationship with God. When you go through something like I did, a relationship with God is the best thing you can have," he concluded.