Breathless and suffering chest pains, Mark McClurg knew something was seriously wrong.
On the advice of a nurse in his church, the 40-year-old pastor of Ards Elim Church, in County Down, was soon on his way to A&E, little knowing this was the start of a battle with Covid-19 that would see God use him in a powerful way.
Initial ly, no one suspected coronavirus.
“They said, ‘we’ve got some good news for you – you don’t have Covid-19, you just have pneumonia,’” says Mark.
But during his second night in hospital, he deteriorated.
“They gave me 70 per cent oxygen, but I still couldn’t breathe, so they increased it to 80 per cent, then 90 per cent. By 10 pm they had me on 100 per cent. I was saying, ‘ I… can’t… breathe…’ You feel like your lungs are full and you’re drowning. It feels like someone has dropped two bags of broken glass into them.”
Mark feared the worse. “I phoned my wife Claire and said, ‘I think this is it, I think I’m going to die.’”
Now critical, Mark was transferred to ICU and hooked up to a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to help him breathe. A test confirmed he had Covid-19.
Lying alone in bed, Mark felt God speak to him.
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