HIGH POINT, N.C. — Jeff Harmon went from the pulpit at Bible Truth Baptist Church to a hospital bed, WGHP reported. He never imagined he’d get the coronavirus.
“Wednesday, March the 18th. I felt a little bad,” Harmon said.
He noticed his fever was climbing as he was driving home from a work trip, so he called his doctor.
“In the event that I did have the coronavirus, I wanted to go ahead and get checked if I tested positive,” he said.
Jeff quarantined at home for a week until symptoms got worse.
“The fever was terrible for seven days. On the seventh day, it finally had got better, but that same day, the breathing dropped,” he said.
That’s when his wife, Karen, knew he needed to go to the hospital.
“Wasn’t a question about it, it was obvious,” he said. “Not only did I have the coronavirus, but the breathing. I wasn’t going to be able to make it.”
He was rushed to Randolph Hospital. It was there doctors told him he tested positive for the virus and said both of his lungs were filled with pneumonia.
He was immediately sent to get further care. His health continued to decline, so his doctor decided to put him on a ventilator.
Jeff and Karen quickly realized this could only end one of two ways.
“It scared me pretty bad, you know, knowing it’s life support. It’s scary,” Karen Harmon said.
There was very little she could do.
“I couldn’t visit. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t talk to him. I just prayed a lot. Cried a lot,” she said.
For 11 days, Jeff was on ventilator in a medically-induced coma.
“Blood pressure problem, heart rate pressure, fever problem. He had a fever the whole entire time,” Karen Harmon said. “They even called me and talked to me about did we have a living will, this and that.”
Jeff’s doctors worked with him every day until he showed signs he could breathe on his own.
On April 3, his health took a turn. By April 7, Jeff was off of the ventilator and moved from ICU to intermediate care.
Little did he know, this was all a miracle.
“There was a line of chaplains that prayed and all the nurses clapped and cheered. I was the first person off of the ventilator. I had no idea I was the first person that was moved to intermediate from ICU,” he said.
Jeff was one of the three people at his church at the time fighting COVID-19. Ruben Rush, one of his members, died from COVID-19 in the beginning of April.
“Losing him, I mean it’s not just losing a member of your church but a dear friend, a lifelong friend,” Jeff said.
The other member is still in the hospital.
Jeff’s next steps are to finish recovering. He still has some issues with his heart rate, ringing in his ears and even his vision has been affected.
“But if it’s permanent, hey, I’m alive. At the end of the day I am alive,” he said.
For that, he said he’s forever grateful.