One of 100,000: Roanoke pastor shares story of surviving COVID-19 as Virginia’s cases reach six figures

Pastor: "I've had people say to me, 'I wasn't sure it was real until you got it'"

ROANOKE, Va.Virginia’s total number of COVID-19 cases passed 100,000 Sunday. Jim Asberry is one of the 100,000.

“I’ve had people say to me, ‘I wasn’t sure it was real until you got it,” said Asberry, a pastor at Roanoke’s Exalted Church. “Let me tell you, it’s real.”

Asberry said he survived COVID-19 after a two-week ordeal against the virus in May.

“I remember thinking one night laying in bed thinking, ‘This is it, Lord,” Asberry said. “I’m at peace with that because I’m okay with the Lord, but this may win.”

Asberry said he went to get tested soon after experiencing strange and severe symptoms.

“It was during a Facebook Live Bible study on a Thursday night,” Asberry said. “As I was doing it, I started feeling a little bit bad. The next morning I got up and tried to put my shoes on, and I couldn’t do it.”

He said no one in his family or his congregation caught COVID-19 from him, but they all witnessed what he experienced in the throes of his sickness.

“They’re like, ‘Our pastor has got it, so that’s kind of scary,’” Asberry said. “They’ve seen me go through it, and now that I’m on the other side of it, we’re united even more.”

Asberry said the view from the other side is enlightening. He hopes people stay true to themselves while not underestimating COVID-19.

“It’s real. Be careful,” Asberry said. “Don’t take it lightly, but on the same token, you’ve still got to live. That’s where I’m at right now, I’ve still got to live.”

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