MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – St. Andrew’s Church Rector Steve Wood continues a long recovery from COVID-19. He was among the first cases in the Lowcountry and said he experienced an illness that he admits tested his faith.
Thursday was his first time back in historic St. Andrew’s Church in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village since March 6th.
For him, just setting foot inside this historic sanctuary is another huge step in his recovery from the coronavirus, one of the earliest cases in the Lowcountry.
Wood’s condition deteriorated quickly in early March. A clean x-ray one day showed COVID-ravaged lungs three days later. Oxygen levels dropped and he knew he was headed for a ventilator.
“I knew that was coming and I think we had seen on the national news that the ventilators were a 50/50 proposition at that time. It was an anxiety-provoking thought for me. The biggest thing was giving control of my body over to doctors and a machine,” Wood said. “The doctors were fantastic, assured me this is what was needed, that my lungs needed a break, my body needed a break and the machine would do the work for my body, that it would be a 3-5-day proposition. It turned out to be 10 days.”
The virus ravaged Wood’s body. He says he lost 36 pounds. He’s battling neuropathy and said there were times he questioned if he would make it.
“There were a couple of days after coming off the ventilator, there were moments I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it,” he said. “I thought this was a respiratory thing but actually it does affect your whole body and it affected my whole body. I’ve never been in a car accident, but I felt like I had been in one. I mean every part of my body hurt.”
The pain was so severe that he even passed out, which sent him back to the hospital where doctors found blood clots that he’s still treating today.
Through it all, he credits his faith for the strength to fight.
“I think some people see faith as life insurance, that life might be bad now but it will be better when we get to heaven; I don’t think faith is enduring in this life until we get there, I think the promise is we see the goodness of the Lord in this life, now, and I’ve seen that. And so, when folks ask me how I am, my response is every day is a good day, some days are better than others.”
Rector Wood is slowly getting back to work and says Lord willing, his first-day preaching will be their first in-person service – which will be outdoors on June 7th.