Relentless Church Pastor John Gray praised God, his wife, Aventer, his congregation and others who prayed for his recovery after being released from a Georgia hospital Tuesday, where he was treated for a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
"Because of God, this bed is now a testimony. As I wave goodbye to this bed, I say GOD THANK YOU FOR SAVING AND SPARING MY LIFE! Yes, I have a long way to go, but I'm not dead-so that's a great start!" Gray said in a statement on Instagram Tuesday evening, along with a photo of an empty hospital bed.
The 49-year-old leader of the megachurch with campuses in Greenville, South Carolina, and Powder Springs, Georgia, was hospitalized on July 7 with saddle pulmonary embolism.
The rare type of acute pulmonary embolism occurs when a large blood clot gets "lodged at the intersection where the main pulmonary artery divides and branches off into the left and right lungs," according to Medical News Today. One study suggests the mortality rate for the condition is 3.62%.
Gray and his wife said doctors at Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Alabama, where he was initially treated before being transported to Northside Hospital in Gwinnett, Georgia, told them the state of his diagnosis could have left him dead. According to Aventer Gray, doctors said her husband's pulmonary artery was "50% blocked" and called for prayers that the clot would "shrink, shrivel and die."
In his Instagram post, Gray wrote that the "devil wanted me to die in this bed."
"This bed was supposed to be my end. Pull the sheet over my head and wheel me to the morgue. This bed, where I entertained my deepest fears, regrets, and triumphs, was supposed to be the period-A life ended, but unfinished," Gray wrote.
He quoted Psalms 103:1-3:
"Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases."
Many of Gray's celebrity friends and pastors celebrated his release from the hospital, including R&B singer and actor Tyrese Gibson and Life.Church leader Craig Groeschel.
"Because of prayer and an amazing medical team, I am on course for a COMPLETE recovery!" Gray said. "To my @relentlessgreenville, @relentlessatlanta family, and Relentless Online, so many pastors, leaders, and praying people around the world who bombarded heaven-I say thank you! It was GOD ALONE that turned the tide of this battle. I can't respond to every text I've received and I still need a ton of rest, a lot of benchmarks to hit, outpatient follow up visits, monitoring, and blah blah-but know I'm grateful for every expression, I am getting stronger."
Gray's warmest praise in his Instagram post was reserved for his wife, who urged his followers to bombard Heaven with prayers so her husband can receive a "miracle" from God.
"Aventer-you will have your own post when my words catch up to your supernatural strength & faith during this life or death moment. I love you with all I have-and with all I have left. You and our children made me fight to stay here," he said. "I love y'all, now since I can't shout. Can y'all help me shout? I'M OUTTTTT!"