A man recovering from COVID-19 is sharing his powerful testimony of coming through the worst of it.
"Like a lot of people, I took care of myself, and I tried to be careful. I figured it probably won't happen to me but then it did," says Richard Thorgeirson, an administrative pastor with The Believer's Church in Winnipeg.
Back in early November of 2020, he came down with a slight fever.
"The boss said, no you can't risk that, we've got to get you tested right away. I was tested, the results came back as positive. Up until that time, I felt reasonably well."
After five days of presenting symptoms, Thorgeirson's wife noticed that he was having great difficulty breathing in the middle of the night. She then called 9-1-1.
"They came and got me and basically that's the last I remember."
The second day in the hospital, Thorgeirson woke just long enough to post a picture to social media of him with an oxygen mask. In the post, while he said he didn't have enough air, he said that God was his oxygen. After that, he went into a coma and was put on a ventilator for three weeks.
"My right lung collapsed, my kidneys were failing, so I basically had the worst of all of it. I found out that 1-2 per cent of the people that have those symptoms never survive it. My wife got two separate phone calls saying that I wasn't going to make it."
He endured a lot of damage to his throat from the tubes that initially kept him alive. That was the hardest part of the recovery, according to the pastor.
"Through a lot of prayer with the church and determination, my throat healed enough that I could go onto food. It took the rest of December until I could eat normal food again."
Thorgeirson didn't know that while he was under, roughly 1,000 people were praying for him in connection with his church.
"One of the prayers my pastor mentioned was that the doctors would be amazed at my recovery. They were. Every time we would get a new nurse or doctor, they'd have to go through a huge manual of everything I'd been through. They'd look at me and say 'You survived all that? You should be dead." I said well I know the One who gave me life."
Thorgeirson was at the Grace Hospital up until December 30, 2020.
"I have a new respect for the nurses and all they do, and all they have to go through with their patients. I keep thinking the good, the bad, and the ugly," he says.
The Winnipeg pastor is still recovering from all that he went through. He can only sit for an hour at a time because of a bedsore he developed and he can walk for roughly eight minutes before he gets out of breath.
"My son who is an agnostic sent a pastor for me to visit. I think he went away more blessed than I did because of my testimony. No one can argue your own story. The miracles continue every day."
After it all, Thorgeirson says he's grateful to be alive.