A pastor from New York has recovered after a 100-day battle with the CCP virus, including spending 54 days on a ventilator and over six weeks in a medically induced coma. His doctor credits prayer for the pastor’s miraculous return to health.
By mid-April, Rev. Benjamin Thomas, an Indian immigrant and senior pastor of Queens Church of God, had lost 50 pounds (approx. 23 kg) and was suffering from lung failure, reports the NY Daily News. The pastor’s doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital, heart surgeon Dr. Robin Varghese, then turned to his faith for assistance.
“I really just told God there was nothing else I can offer him, he’s gotta take over,” Varghese, the director of cardiovascular critical care for the hospital system, explained in footage shared by Mount Sinai Hospital. “He was in the worst shape, and many of our team members who were rooting for him were also losing hope,” Varghese added, “as was I.”
Thomas had transferred to the Mount Sinai ICU from a hospital in Long Island at the end of March after his condition had started to deteriorate due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Thus his family reached out to Varghese to see if they could help him.
“Transporting him was a high-risk venture because he was on maximal oxygen support,” said Varghese. “He came over, thankfully safe and sound, to our intensive care unit.”
The ICU team nonetheless struggled to help the ailing pastor.
On the night of April 19, the pastor seemed like he would be unlikely to be able to recover. Varghese, who was on call that day, decided to ask for divine intervention. Both he and his medical team prayed for their patient to recover, and it worked; the pastor turned a corner.
That night, as Varghese was studying Thomas’s case, a few ideas came to his mind, and he decided to implement them. After that night, Thomas started to make progress, according to the doctor. Although it was very slow, it was steady, as his lungs were “ravaged” by the Covid-19 virus.
By the middle of May, the medical staff who were taking care of Thomas started to see progress and some hope.
Thomas woke up, although at first, he had no concept of the time he had spent in a coma. Slowly but surely, his condition improved.
Alluding to Thomas’s hopeful progress, Mount Sinai Chaplain Rocky Walker said, “We can’t understand and explain what happened to the others, but we do know what happened here, and we’re so thankful.”
Meanwhile, as Thomas had come out of a coma, Varghese helped the pastor reconnect with his church by facilitating a Zoom call to the Queens Church of God’s Sunday service. Thomas was then discharged and returned to his home in Long Island on July 2.
“You know, I’m a miracle,” Thomas told ABC 7, “not that many people come out after 100 days of treatment from the hospital, recovered from COVID-19. Prayer played a big role in my recovery,” he added, “and I truly believe that.”
Thomas also credited his wife for her support throughout the duration of his hospital treatment. As soon as she was allowed to visit his bedside, the pastor’s health improved. “You may call it coincidence,” he reflected, speaking to the NY Daily News. “I call it a miracle.”
Thomas reported excellent progress from home. While confined to his house until his strength returns, the pastor said he was feeling a little better every single day.
(Courtesy of Mount Sinai Health System)
“It was a very rough journey,” Thomas reflected in the video posted by Mount Sinai Hospital. “COVID-19 is real.”
“I know some people do not want to wear masks and don’t want to keep social distancing,” Thomas added, imploring others to take the virus seriously. “You don’t want to go what I went through.”
We would love to hear your stories! You can share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org