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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- A Louisa pastor who has dedicated his life to serving others is finally home after a grueling four-month battle and recovery from COVID-19.
Pastor Robert Christmas said he was not sure he was going to make it when was taken by ambulance to UVA Medical Center on Jan. 24 and was.placed on a ventilator two days later.
In fact, the pastor of more than 40 years admitted the situation was so dire that he wanted family members to begin making funeral arrangements.
Members of First Bible Way Church were also worried, but kept praying for the 72-year-old.
“We were concerned, our hearts were heavy,” parishioner Geraldine Ellis said. “We were scared, but we know the power of God.”
Then two months later, Christmas was able to breathe without the ventilator and was taken off dialysis.
“We believe in miracles and we believe that God worked a miracle in our pastor’s life,” Ellis explained.
And a month later in April he was transferred from the hospital to a long-term care facility where his recovery continued until his homecoming Sunday.
“It’s been quite an adventure for me," Christmas exclaimed. "After being confined to a hospital for four months, man I’m so glad to be out here.”
The pastor’s church family welcomed him home Sunday with a drive-by parade.
The pastor called being able to walk "a blessing" because he "lost all use" of his legs while he was hospitalized.
Christmas also remembered when he could not speak.
"I lost my voice," he recalled. "It sounds rough now, but one time I couldn’t talk at all."
Happy to finally be home, Christmas said his focus is on spending time with his family and congregation. He is also looking forward to sleeping in his own bed.
Christmas credited faith, community and God for surviving the deadly virus that has contributed to the deaths of more than 11,100 Virginians.
“Faith in God and along with my church family, and my family, and some of the other churches praying for me, I think that was the only way that I made it,” Christmas said. “And only through the grace of God that, that I'm doing what I'm doing right now -- and I thank God.”
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