A recently married Texas pastor who welcomed a newborn son with his wife just four months ago is now struggling to restart his life after publicly disclosing that he grappled with a coronavirus infection for several weeks that led to his church being emptied and his day job as a car salesman coming to an abrupt end.
Eli Jacobs, 51, who is senior pastor of Resurrection Body of Christ Church in Dallas, Texas, told The Christian Post in an interview Tuesday that he’s grateful to be alive after his five week bout with the coronavirus, which led to him being hospitalized for two weeks after he began struggling to breathe, but dealing with the aftermath has been a challenge.
Jacobs’ battle with the virus began in late March when he first noticed he had developed a rash on his hands while he was at work selling cars.
“They don’t mention about the rash but you start breaking out with rash and I know that my hands, by me taking care of it, I know it was something new,” he said, noting how he had speculated the rash might have been due to high blood pressure or some type of chronic illness. “I just know all my skin was breaking out. The skin was peeling off.”
As time went by, Jacobs said he started getting tired easily and couldn’t get up in the mornings. He would eventually talk with his wife about his symptoms and they decided to get tested for the virus, and his results came back positive.
He tried to treat himself at home but he developed a fever that lasted for four days. He began losing the taste in his mouth and started struggling to breathe.
“My breathing was not normal like it used to be,” he said. “You know how somebody put their hands over your mouth and nose for a minute and let it go? That’s how it felt.”
Jacobs said his wife would eventually take him to two separate hospitals to get care for his infection.
“I felt weak. I felt like I wanted to lay down all the time. I went into the hospital. The first hospital they really didn’t do too much. They gave me an IV, kept me in the hospital and tried to get my temperature down,” he said.
His wife would later move him to a different hospital which he said was mentally taxing as he worried about death.
“Mentally, when I was going through the COVID, you think about dying. You could do a whole lot of thinking on that bed, I’m just going to be honest. You start thinking about everything. I was thinking about I just had a baby, just got married, and I didn’t want to leave them behind. That was my thought. I got a church and nobody knows I’m in this hospital. All alone, you have to fight it mentally because they don’t let nobody go in with you,” he said.
“I think that stress can take a toll on your body. I just really believe that. I had difficulty sleeping and I think it has an effect on your mind that causes your body not to fully function like it can. … When you think about dying it’s hard to sleep,” he said.
At the time of his hospitalization, scores of black and Hispanic pastors were dying from the new coronavirus along with many others from minority communities.
He said after his release from the hospital he did an interview with Fox 4 to educate members of his community about the virus.
As people learned that he was infected, however, Jacobs said people started to avoid him.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair