The coronavirus disease can assault the body extensively. It targets the lungs, but it can also damage the other organs of our body. It can take a grave toll on people affected by the virus. But no matter how harrowing its effects are, be it physically or mentally, there is Someone bigger than this disease.
Below is the inspiring testimony of a woman who was declared COVID-free after spending seven grueling weeks in the hospital to fight the dreaded virus.
RIGHT BEFORE IT HITS
I started to feel unwell on the morning of March 18. I had a high fever and headache. It felt like I was coming down with the flu. I thought I got infected with dengue after spending hours cleaning our home. But the following day, I started having bouts of diarrhea. We monitored my condition for a few days and hoped that my fever would go down, but it didn’t. Not long after, I had difficulty breathing. It became almost impossible for me to sleep while lying down. I felt so weak.
My husband and I went to a hospital in Pasig City on March 23. I was told that my lungs were clear and everything seemed okay based on the x-ray scan. I was instructed to go home and undergo self-quarantine for two weeks. But upon arriving home, my fever flared up.
We immediately called the COVID-19 hotline to seek help. I was told to go to one of the hospitals in Quezon City to have another x-ray scan. On the 25th, just two days after my last scan, I found out that I had pneumonia. I had to be admitted but there was no room available at that time. I stayed at the hospital’s parking lot from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. with an oxygen tank next to me—thinking every breath was my last.
THE LONG WAIT
While waiting at the parking lot, I was already bidding goodbye to my husband. I had worked as a nurse before, and I had a patient who died from pneumonia. I was almost sure that I’d have the same fate. I prayed and asked God to fill me with His peace.
While preparing myself for what would happen next, my best friend called and prayed for me. She encouraged me and reminded me to trust God. I was already struggling to breathe at that time, but I listened to every word she said. Knowing that someone was praying for me helped a lot.
Like my best friend, my husband also refused to give up. He contacted different people, including those from our Victory group. That same night, one of our leaders from Victory Katipunan, who happened to be a doctor, called us and helped me get checked and admitted to another hospital. I knew it was God making a way for me.
COUNTING THE DAYS
When I was admitted, the doctors had me tested for COVID-19 and checked my blood disorder, too. At that time, both of my lungs were already severely affected. I could feel that I was positive with the disease, but I tried to dispel that thought while waiting for the results. Seeing God make a way for me to be admitted kept my hopes up.
We were told that the results of my swab test would be released after three to four days. While waiting, I drew strength from God to keep fighting each day. Eight days had passed, and there were still no results; I was forced to go through another swab. At that time, I was slowly starting to feel better, but not knowing what was happening to me made me anxious. It felt like there was a big cloud hanging over me.
As I counted the days, I didn’t know that God was slowly preparing my heart. He knew that it was easy for me to worry and think of unpleasant things. And He didn’t want that. He used the delay to strengthen me and make me ready. After a few days, the results of my first swab test came back positive.
FIGHTING WITH FAITH
While I was in the hospital, God used different people to encourage me. My colleagues and Victory group always checked on me through video calls. My husband, who was tagged at that time as a person under monitoring (PUM), was not allowed to leave the hospital so he stayed with me. I am thankful to God that despite what happened, there were people who fought each day with me. I never felt alone.
There were times when I almost gave up because the medication was too painful—it felt as if it was melting my bones. But my husband never lost heart. He would always talk to me and help me see things differently. He helped build my faith.
Every day, God would show me His goodness through different people. He changed my perspective on many things and made me see what’s truly important. I realized how fleeting everything is and finally understood who He is in my life. With every pain, I saw how big He is. No matter what happens, I know that God is in control, and I can always put my faith and confidence in Him.
COMING OUT STRONG
While waiting for the results of my fourth swab test, I filled my heart with God’s word. Our online worship services and the morning worship and prayer on Victory’s Facebook page helped me a lot. Instead of focusing on my pain, I focused on God and started reaching out to our relatives and friends who were having a difficult time because of the crisis we’re facing. I encouraged them with God’s promises and helped them see the good in the bad.
My battle with coronavirus showed me that the challenges we face would help us come out strong like Job. Instead of questioning God, we need to look beyond our situation to understand His purpose. Our trials can be turned into testimonies that can bring honor and glory to God.
FROM PAIN TO PURPOSE
After seven grueling weeks of pain and uncertainty, I was finally declared COVID-free! My fourth swab test came out negative, and I was discharged in the afternoon of May 11, 2020.
Though I realize that sharing this story may cause me and my family to face the stigma and discrimination associated with the disease, I am sure that God will be with us no matter what. Letting everyone know that God is bigger than this pandemic is more important. The pain I felt has a greater purpose that will allow others to see His goodness.
No words can accurately describe the pain and agony that a person with COVID-19 feels. Though the uncertainty and fear are beyond difficult to bear, nothing is beyond God’s grace. May those who are going through this disease find comfort, strength, and hope in God—who is bigger than this pandemic. As a church community, let us open our hearts to those who are battling the disease, encourage them, and show them God’s love. By faith, there is healing, victory, and the promise of eternal life in Christ.
Vee is a Quality Assurance analyst and a volunteer in Victory Katipunan. She and her husband are part of a couples Victory group. They are currently being monitored and evaluated as part of the government’s health and safety protocols.