CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Bishop Alan Porter calls himself a walking miracle. He contracted COVID-19 and says his recovery was a painful experience.
Porter is the Pastor of The Connecting Place at Greater Salem in Northwest Charlotte. He says he doesn’t know exactly where he picked up the virus but said he started to feel bad after he left a funeral he attended in Detroit, MI. That area became the focus of a potential hot spot for the virus.
“By the time I got back to my hotel room that evening about 7 o’clock, I’m thinking, ‘wow - I got a fever - what’s happening here?’" Porter said. "I was there until Friday and by Friday I kept saying these allergies are wearing me out.”
When he returned to Charlotte he says he preached and was having difficulty in the pulpit. He still thought it was his allergies acting up.
“I felt like fluid,” Porter said. “Like I was drowning - like I couldn’t breath.”
Two days after that episode he didn’t get better. His wife, who is a trained nurse, stepped in and listened to his breathing. She used a stethoscope and after she heard what she heard - she told him he needed to see a doctor.
“I heard her kept saying ‘um... um,’” he said. “And I’m saying what does that mean? She says ‘I want you to listen to this.’ She put it on and she says ‘don’t you hear all of that crackling - like paper.’ She said that’s water - that’s fluid on your lungs.”
He went to the doctor and Porter says he was tested for the flu - both A and B strains. The tests came back negative. He says this is what the doctor then brought up COVID-19.
“'If you came back negative for both of the flu, then you were 99.9% that you would not be positive for COVID-19,'" Porter recalls the doctor saying. "When I left swabbed that day - then I said Thank You Jesus.”
His tests were then sent to LabCorp for further review. The Bishop says on March 24 he got the news that he tested positive for COVID-19. He says he was devastated, and continued to experience a fever of 102 and 103 degrees.
Porter says he was told to treat the fever and if he had trouble breathing to come back to the doctor. Weeks later, He says he is much better but not out of the woods yet. He is still weak but he has been cleared. He credits God and his wife for getting him through. His wife coached what to do to get better.
“She would get me up and walk me around the house, up and down the stairs. You cannot stay still - we got to break up the mucus that’s in your body - that’s causing the fluid and sitting down is not helping - you got to move,” Porter said.
He says he did what she said even though he was in pain.
“I’m just wondering what would have happened if I was single and I didn’t have a partner who happened to be a nurse," Porter said. “Every morning I thank the Lord and tell my wife I love her.”
The Bishop says his congregation also gave him inspiration when he needed it. They wrote positive messages on colorful index cards and sent them to him. He put them up on a wall so he could see them constantly.
“I read them every day,” Porter said. “And I got up and read them and I would confess what they wrote and it is that kind of connection that helped pull me through.”
Porter says COVID-19 is no joke and says through this ordeal he is coming out better.
“This has taught me you can still have your faith and your confession and still find yourself in the spiral - it doesn’t mean you are faithless," Porter said. "But that same faith you had when you went into the spiral - is the same faith you hold on to during the spiral.”
COVID-19 still attacking his family. He says his niece has also tested positive for the virus.