A large gust of wind and storm clouds blew through town just as Wendy Mackie’s family and friends lined up to welcome her out of Jennie Stuart Health on Wednesday.
“That storm isn’t stopping here,” one man said. “It’s moving on by.”
Minutes later, the sun was back out and so was Wendy, as she was wheeled into an ambulance to go home, free of COVID-19.
Her crowd of loved ones — including nurses and doctors from the community hospital — waved, clapped and cheered as she cupped her face in tears.
“Watching her, all that I could think of was the Bible verse, ‘For he that is mighty hath done to me great things and holy is His name,’ ” said her sister Eyvette Sellers.
“It’s a blessing to see that God allowed her to live, and it’s great for us to be able to love on her more and to have her in our lives.”
Wendy, 54, is now negative for the novel coronavirus after a month-long stay at Jennie Stuart and its intensive care unit.
Wendy, whose voice is still regaining its strength, said she doesn’t remember the medically-induced coma she was in from March 28 to mid-April, but she does remember waking up.
“I remember people coming to my room just clapping and telling me they were praying for me all around the world and the nation,” she said in a brief phone interview. “One of the nurses said to me, ‘You are a miracle.’ ”
There is no vaccine for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 that has ravaged lives and economies around the world. Nationally, more than 1 million people have tested positive for the virus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Over 60,000 in the U.S. have died.
In Kentucky, there have been over 4,000 cases, 224 deaths and over 1,600 have recovered.
Christian County has had 89 cases — three deaths, 58 recoveries and 28 were still active Wednesday.
“This type of virus that has hit the country has been an eye-opener,” Sellers said. “It makes you look at what’s really important in life. If you’re not here to live it, you’re not here to enjoy it. It’s a greater appreciation to make you stop and think and appreciate life as a whole.”
On Tuesday, Jennie Stuart’s Vice President of Nursing Beth McCraw said seven former COVID-19 patients had been discharged from the hospital. Wendy makes No. 8.
She is now home with her husband, Kevin Mackie, and will have to do physical and occupational therapy for awhile.
A Facebook prayer chain that was started April 7 by their church family has nearly 150 shares and over 400 comments of people praying on their behalf.
Kevin said it’s hard to put into words how much this virus tested their faith as a family.
“It has increased my trust in the Lord,” he said. “It’s one thing to hear people talk about going through things. It’s another thing to actually go through it.”
Wendy said the staff at Jennie Stuart was exceptional.
“I had really good, beautiful trauma nurses,” Wendy said. “They took really good care of me.”
Wednesday evening, she fielded call after call from family, friends and people who prayed for her over the past five weeks.
Although she can’t have visitors at this time, Wendy does have one special delivery coming.
“A friend of mine is going to cook some fried chicken, and I can’t wait,” she said.