The day Pastor Leonard Himes rushed his 63-year-old wife, Claudette, to a local hospital in mid-March, she was feverish, confused and she thought she had the flu.
Nevertheless, Himes, an associate pastor at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, told Fox 5: “I prayed with her and I said I loved her, and I said we’re going to trust in the Lord and Savior to heal you."
Little did Himes know that Claudette would end up testing positive for the new coronavirus and would be hospitalized for the next three weeks with a breathing machine in Emory St. Joseph’s intensive care unit.
"He tells me the stories of how bad it was, what I went through. It was mind-blowing," Claudette, who has no memory of the battle she fought, said. “I just thought that I had the flu."
Claudette spent 12 and half days on a ventilator at the hospital and her husband was unable to see her in person for 18 days.
The pastor, who has been married to Claudette for eight years, recalled how challenging it was.
“In a normal circumstance, you can be by the side of your loved one and care for them and pray with them, and be there to at least know what’s going on. But through this pandemic, the severity of it, we had to be totally separate,” he said.
Things looked grim after 11 days when Claudette remained in the ICU with no obvious signs of improvement. Pastor Himes said he asked the hospital chaplain to install a baby monitor in his wife’s room so he could talk to her even though she was unconscious. He sensed though that Claudette could still hear his voice and he just kept speaking to her in faith.
"I was able to read to her, and pray for her, and just let her know it was going to be OK," Himes said. "The nurse and the chaplain that were in the room attending to her turned the camera back at them and they were just sobbing, with tears running down their face.”
The morning following that moment, Himes would get a call that his wife finally woke up.
“Claudette was sitting up in bed, extubated, and breathing on her own," he recalled his sister telling him.
Himes believes his wife’s revival was God’s answer to his prayer.
“What I do know is God is real and He answers prayer. And He answered this one,” he said.
And God’s blessing came just days before Claudette would celebrate her birthday.
"Can you imagine having a birthday and someone telling you that you might not have made it?" she said. "And to breathe God’s air? Oh, my God, I’m just blessed."