“This is lights out.” That’s what Reverend Joe Stafford, Wesley Chapel Pastor and Avita Chaplain, thought when he received his COVID-19 diagnosis just one week before Christmas. Pastor Joe explained that he was already at risk due to a thoracotomy last year to fix his lungs. He also had first-hand knowledge of how deadly the virus was after losing a close friend just 6 weeks prior to his diagnosis.

Joe even started to make plans, pulling his secretary aside to talk about how to run the church when he was gone. “She was crying, and I was crying.” But God had other plans for our local pastor. His primary care physician recommended that Joe get monoclonal antibody infusion therapy to fight the virus. On December 18, Joe went into the Galion Hospital ER for treatment.

Joe said that it was an easy experience, taking less than four hours from registration to heading home. The infusion took about an hour and then he was kept another hour for observation. “The only pain I had was from the pin prick of the needle. Other than that, no pain and no reaction.” He added that he was feeling better by the next day and had almost no symptoms a week later.

Joe’s been recommending the treatment to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 that are having complications. “Whether it’s the good lord, the good doctor, the good medicine, or a combination of it all, I’m grateful. It could have been tragic.” He said with options like infusion therapy being available, he isn’t as scared as he once was.