CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cleveland man who spent nearly a month on a ventilator has made a miraculous recovery. The local pastor and radio host said it was the darkest days of his life and for the first time ever he nearly lost his faith.
“I wish this on nobody,” said Jae Williams, as tears streamed down his cheeks. “Coronavirus is real.”
Williams is living proof of that.
“I’m proof,” the pastor said. “I’m a walking testimony and I kid you not, if you could see what I’ve been through you would understand why I just can’t hold back these tears.”
Jae Williams, 63, has been through the ringer. One weekend in March the otherwise healthy Cleveland man became extremely sick. Immediately after going to the Cleveland Clinic for a coronavirus test he was rushed to the ICU and put on a ventilator.
“I wanted to die,” Williams said. “I didn’t wanna live and I am a very...I’m a preacher. Can you imagine a preacher telling you that I was at a point where I wanted to die looking at my body, looking at how my body was. Yeah, it’s the worst thing ever.”
Williams said his family was told he was going to die three different times.
“The third time was around Good Friday, and this was when I think I was on the ventilator at this point for 23 days, and they said I was not going to make it through the weekend,” Williams said. “On Easter Sunday morning I came from the corner of the room that I was in and somehow or another entered back in my body and I... and the nurse was in awe because I was alive.”
After waking up and getting off the ventilator, Williams began living through what he calls his second nightmare. Doctors told him he would never walk or talk again and that he would spend the rest of his life on dialysis with a catheter in his chest.
“I felt like God has really let me down because now I’m going home and mentally physically, they’re going to have to take care of me the rest of my life,” explained Williams. “I could’ve died and my insurance could’ve took care of everybody and they would’ve been happy after they went through their grieving period. I was kind of mad at God.”
Williams said his wife kept praying for him. He was in the hospital a total of 54 days. He came home in late May, and around June 1, his catheter was out, and he was walking and talking again.
“They say that my kidneys are brand new and they say that something happened with my lungs, and they rebuilt themselves,” Williams said.
“I’m beyond grateful,” Williams said through tears. “Grateful is not even the word. You can’t even find the vocabulary to understand what I’ve been through. You can’t. You can’t even imagine.”
In a few days Williams is headed back to the hospital to donate plasma so that his antibodies can help others with the virus.
“That’s what I believe God left me here to do, to help people, to give people life,” said Williams. “I’m carrying their life in my life and that’s what I’m gonna do.”