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The 700 Club

COVID-19 Diagnosis Beat by Faith in God

Shannon Woodland - 700 Club Producer
Danielle Thompson - 700 Club Producer

“It just was so hard to wrap my mind around how did this virus that's taken lives, so many lives, across the world, reach my mom in this tiny country town?” 

March 31st, 2020, Jessica O’Mealy’s mom, Kay Wooten, was admitted to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma with a fever and an incessant cough.  She was diagnosed with double pneumonia, brought on by COVID-19.

Kay Wooten said, “I was quite shocked, I was so weak at that point. It just hit me so hard, I guess." 

Kay was put on oxygen and prescribed treatments to lessen the fluid in her lungs.  As word spread, her family and friends rallied in prayer.
        
Jessica said, “I would see on my phone, people just immediately starting responding, 'Praying right now for your mom.'  And that was very comforting to me in a time where you just don't even know what to do." 

One of Kay’s nurses was Karen Njafuh.

“I just remember her coming in and just being scared. So, just from her admission I was just encouraging her, 'It'll be okay,'” said Karen.
    
From day one, Karen and the other nurses kept Kay’s family updated on her condition.  They even arranged phone calls.
        
Jessica said, “My conversation with her would be may three or four minutes, and then we'd have to hang up because she was really struggling. 
On day three, Kay’s condition became critical and doctors decided to put her on a ventilator.  At 4:30 in the morning Kay texted her family.
        
Kay said, "'I love you, tell my grandkids I love them, tell my daddy I love him.'  Because I didn't know, my first reaction was, I didn’t know if I'll ever get to talk to them again.”
        
“That could be the last line of communication I ever had from her, I just cried and prayed,” said Jessica. “Your mind always wants to go to the worst-case scenario. And the thought I had the most that was so hard, was that she would die alone in a hospital bed.”
        
Over the next few days, three different friends sent Jessica the same verse – Exodus 14 verse 14.

Jessica said, “It says, 'The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.' He was fighting for her. He was going to take care of her, and this was our role, to just be still in this time and pray.”
        
And they weren’t the only ones praying.
    
“A lot of the nurses would come in when I was conscious off the sedation that said, 'I’m praying for you,' you know. You just can't get any better than that,” said Kay.
    
Likewise, Kay’s family and friends were also praying for each of the nurses by name. 
        
Jessica said, “The difficult circumstances that they're working in. They're putting themselves at risk every single day.”

“They prayed for us by name, and that's more than what we could ask, to have people praying for us,” said Karen. 
    
After several days, doctors tried to take her off the ventilator, but immediately, she crashed. When they decided to try again, a few days later, Kay felt alone and scared, but nurse Karen was there, and offered to pray.
        
“We prayed about it. I remember her husband telling me she liked music,” said Karen. "And so, I asked her, 'Would you like me to sing to you?' And she nodded her head yes.” 
        
Kay said, “When she sang 'Amazing Grace' to me, it brought me so much peace.”
        
“I just was being obedient, honestly,” said Karen. “I felt it in my heart to encourage her. She needed it.”

Kay said, “I can still close my eyes and hear her singing that song.”
        
This time Kay was off the ventilator for 17 hours, giving them a sign of hope. But she crashed again. Late that night Jessica and her husband received the devastating news.
    
“And we were in our living room in the dark for probably three hours. And we just prayed back and forth. 'Lord, take it. I can't let myself go down this path of fear. I've got to give it to you and turn that fear into trust.'" 
    
Even though her days were filled with uncertainty Kay was sure of one thing.
    
“There were several times I felt a touch on my arm over here, and I would look over and no one was there. And I think it was audible, that God was saying, 'I'm here with you.' And I would just thank Him for being there with me.”
        
Finally, on April 17th, after 13 days on a ventilator, Kay was able to breathe on her own.

“When I got off that third time, I didn't have worries. I wasn't scared, I wasn't afraid. And I know it was the prayers that were being lifted up.”

21 days after going into the hospital, Kay was released. In fact, it was a day earlier than planned.  So, she and her husband surprised their daughter when they pulled up in her driveway.
        
“I don't think I've ever been so surprised in my life,” said Jessica. “And just to see her sitting in the car and she kept (MAKING HEART WITH HANDS) you know, waving and hearts to us. And that was one of the most incredible moments in my whole life.”
        
Looking back, Jessica believes God not only fought their battle against COVID-19, but also their fight against fear. 
        
“Even though it was scary, even though we were struggling through it, we really were experiencing God's peace.”
        
As for nurse Karen, who’s on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, she says it’s her faith in God that gives her courage and perseverance.
        
”She is an angel. One of God’s chosen people for that field,” said Kay.

Karen said, “He's got me, just like He's got everybody. You know that song, 'He's got the whole world in His hands.' He truly does. And He just continues to show that. I trust Him.”
 

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