CORSICANA, Texas - A Corsicana pastor says his fight against COVID-19 has changed his perspective on getting the vaccine.
The North Texas pastor has been battling the virus for more than 20 days. He admits he was not vaccinated but now plans to after his near-death experience.
Danny Reeves is used to teaching the word of God every Sunday at First Baptist Church in Corsicana. But over the last few weeks, he says he’s been the one learning.
"God puts us through these moments to teach us the lessons," he said. "I didn't mean to be cavalier. I didn't mean to be overconfident. But there's a lot of people just like me that haven't gotten the vaccine."
Reeves says he started feeling body aches and other symptoms in early July and tested positive for COVID-19 a few days later.
In about a week, Reeves’ breathing became so difficult that he needed to go to the hospital. At Baylor Medical Center in Dallas, his blood oxygen level dropped to dangerous levels.
"The doctor came in and said, ‘You're going to the ICU.’ And said that I needed to have a reality check that I could die," he recalled.
Reeves spent two days in the ICU. His chances of survival were fluctuating by the hour. At one point, doctors told him he could be in danger of needing a lung transplant.
"I cried in here. I had emotional moments in here. I had regret in here," he said. "I recognized that I had been a bit cavalier. That almost cost me."
Reeves’ medical treatment included Remdesivir and steroids. He made a remarkable turnaround, crediting his faith, the support from his church community and his medical team.
"I asked them, ‘Why me?’ And they said, ‘Danny, it's just the luck of the draw, and this can happen to anybody. And so if it can happen to me, it can happen to you. And you really ought to consider getting the vaccine. I'm not going to tell you to go do it. You have the choice and the right to make that choice,’" he recalled.
Reeves says doctors at Baylor helped clear up some of the misinformation for him, and he now plans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"I've been taught a lesson, and I'm big enough and humble enough to say I was wrong," he said. "And if my survival and my story can be a blessing to others, I pray it is."
Reeves is still recovering from the virus but says he will be cleared to get vaccinated in about 30 days. He urges anyone who has doubts about the vaccine to talk to a doctor they trust to find out more information.