Kyle Coriell, a pastor in Ohio, didn’t expect to contract the coronavirus.
And he’s just starting to understand how close he came to death.
“I’ve just never experienced anything like this and for that long a period of time.”
“I’ve had the flu, I’ve had the cold, and I’ve had food poisoning,” Coriell stated. “I’ve had strep throat, which is very painful as an adult, but nothing like this [COVID-19].”
Coriell, the pastor of Kingdom Hearts Church in Chillicothe, Ohio, believes he caught the virus at a movie night with friends and family in early April.
Eight members of his extended family had tested positive after the movie night, but Coriell endured the worst of the virus.
“It was just terrible, the worst two weeks of my life by far,” the pastor remembered.
At first, Coriell wanted to recover at home, believing he could heal on his own. But his mother, a respiratory therapist, knew firsthand the dangers of COVID-19 and encouraged him to go to the hospital.
“I’m the type of person who just does not like to go to the hospital,” Coriell admitted. “I have to have a bone sticking out, they can’t stop the bleeding, that’s the only way I’ll go to the hospital and just always have been like that.”
“I was doing everything I could not to go, and [my mom] again told me I needed to go.”
The pastor finally heeded his mother’s advice and went to the local hospital. When he heard what the doctors had to say, he realized that the situation was much more serious than he’d originally thought.
“[The doctor’s prognosis] just devastated me,” Coriell said.
His oxygen saturation levels were dangerously low and doctors weren’t sure they could do anything to help. His body was too weak to properly fight the virus.
“I was [in the hospital] because this thing had me down on the ground,” the pastor admitted. “It was choking me, it was choking the life out of me, and I was there, someone that does not like hospitals.”
“I was there as a last resort, hoping and believing that they could give me something to help me overcome this because my body wasn’t beating this, my body was losing this battle, and that’s what got me kind of scared.”
At this point, Coriell knew that medicine wouldn’t save him—but God still could!
Terrified for his life, the pastor prayed fervently, asking God for the strength to fight COVID-19 and recover. His wife, Lynette, joined in the prayers even as she waged her own war with the virus.
“He was going downhill fast, and I knew that, if God didn’t touch him, I knew that he was going to his other home,” Lynette recalled tearfully.
“I was scared at the point that I was like, what if he doesn’t make it, what am I going to do.”
“I said, oh no, no, I had to grab onto hope, and that is when I said, I can’t fight this for you, but I can fight with you,” she told her husband. “You’ve got to fight.”
Kyle and Lynette’s prayers were answered almost immediately when Kyle’s oxygen levels miraculously rose. Amazed by the change, the doctors released him to recover at home.
“Right then and there, I knew that God was listening to my prayers, he was aware of what was going on in my life and everything was going to be okay,” the pastor said. “I just knew from that point forward.”
It took a few weeks for Kyle to fully recover from the effects of the virus, but his faith will never be the same again.
He’s now back to work in his church and determined to share his story for the glory of God!
“I’m back to work, back to preaching, doing the things I love to do, and all because of God,” Coriell stated. “It was all because of Him, all because [of] my brothers and sister in Christ who prayed for me and lifted me up…I thank them all for that.”
Lynette echoed her husband’s sentiments, saying, “I hope that someday I can always stay as strong as the people that [were] there for us and my family.”
She and Kyle urge others battling with COVID-19 to, “Never, ever, ever give up, never lose hope, always have faith.”
Please keep praying for all those affected by COVID-19, and do your part to stop the spread!