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Overcoming Covid-19 with the Power of Prayer

Amy Reid - 700 Club Producer

“You just wonder if he's going to die, and what am I going to do if he does die? And how am I going to make it, you know? He's my partner. We've been together since I was 18 years old. So, we just didn't want him to die.”

The Covid test was positive for sixty-five-year-old John Archer. John received an antibody infusion to help him fight off the virus and was sent home. A few days later, Peggy, his wife of forty-six years, noticed he was sluggish and slurring his words.

“I was a little concerned,” says Peggy. “We had ordered one of the oxygen level indicators, and when I tested his oxygen, it was in the 70’s.”

At their daughter, Heather’s urging, Peggy drove John, a type-two diabetic, to the emergency room at nearby Norton Brownsboro hospital, in Louisville, Kentucky. Heather and her fiance, Scott, met them there.

“What the doctors were telling us was the sickest patients that they had seen were people that were diabetic, had high blood pressure, and were overweight,” says Heather. “Here he was with all these risk factors.”  

Even more alarming, John’s blood sugar level was twelve hundred and fifty when it should have been under one hundred fifty.

“When we dropped him off in the emergency room, we didn't know if we were gonna see him again,” Heather adds. “It was really scary and really emotional.”

“We started right away praying and started calling our people to pray,” says Peggy. Making it even more heart-wrenching, it was the same hospital where Heather lost her husband to cancer six years before.

“We were in the same ER,” Peggy explains. “He was moved to the same floor. And it's hard not to think about that when someone thirty-eight years old dies. You know, it's hard not to think about that.”

Now in ICU, John’s heartbeat was irregular, and doctors were concerned about permanent damage. His oxygen levels were still dangerously low. His doctors called Peggy, who was quarantined at home, and got her permission to put him on a ventilator.

"They were like, ‘that's his best chance at survival is if we put him on a vent.’ Of course, you just automatically go to the worst-case scenario, because the percentage of people that get off a vent is very low,” Peggy adds.

“We were obviously like very, very frightened to hear that.” Heather says.

The next day, Heather, Scott, and their church group met outside the hospital to pray, while Peggy, and their son, Craig, joined in through Facetime.

“It was freezing cold, and they just prayed for my dad, and it was so powerful and just so sweet, Heather declares. “They came together and prayed for him when he couldn't do that for himself.”

Peggy would need those prayers as well. John’s doctors told her if he didn’t improve within 48 hours, he might not survive.

“I was just very anxious, pacing the floor, waiting to hear an update,” Peggy recalls. “I wanted to know that something had improved, you know. I felt like people were holding my hands up and helping me to pray and reaching out to God for a miracle.”

In those critical hours people continued to pray as doctors worked to stabilize John’s blood sugar, heart and oxygen levels. Then two days later, on Tuesday, February 2, the family got some good news.

“They said he was improving,” Peggy smiles. “They said that his sugar levels had come down, way, way, way down. Way better, like a thousand points down. And that his heart damage was minimal. So, we were just grateful for that.”

However, John was still intubated, so his family continued to pray that he could come off the vent successfully without damage to his heart.

“We were not quite out of the woods yet,” says Peggy. “You're just cautiously optimistic. You're not totally relieved yet because he's not off of it yet.”

Heather sent out updates on social media, asking people to intercede in prayer.

“We didn't want his heart rate to, you know, ramp up,” Heather observes. “So that was one of the things I specifically asked for people to pray for, that he would stay calm when they did take him off the vent.”

On February 6th, one week after he was hospitalized, John was able to come off the vent. Heather recalls getting the news from the nurse.

"When she called after they extubated him, that was the word she used, ‘He was calm,’ and I thought that was so awesome that God answered that prayer so specifically.”

“They held the phone up to his ear so we could hear his voice and he could hear our voice,” Peggy recalls.

John was still weak and a little confused. The next day however, Peggy got a phone call.

She answered the phone and I said, ‘Hi, honey, it's Lazarus.’” John laughs. “And I will never forget the look on her face,” Scott remembers.

“It was just amazing,” Peggy laughs, “We were able to talk to him for a few moments, and that was like the best. That was the best day.”
“It was the sweetest moment that you could imagine,” Heather recalls. “We were just so excited. We definitely knew he was gonna be okay after he called.”

After two weeks of rehab, John came home. Now, he’s back to work and enjoying time with his family. The Archers believe that without prayer, John’s outcome would’ve been very different.

“Prayer is what saved him,” says Peggy, “God worked through the doctors and the nurses, but it's because of the prayer of others, you know, and our prayers. And I think God just knew he had to help us because we couldn't help ourselves.” 

Heather agrees. “Prayer is a huge part of why he's still here. God's always faithful and he's always with us.”

“Prayer is-is your best weapon against Satan's plans for you, declares John. “God listens to your prayers.”

“We're just regular people that got a miracle of healing, Peggy adds, “and we are grateful for that every day.”

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