At first, Leonard Nelson’s symptoms were mild. It was early August, and he assumed the meal he’d eaten at a local restaurant just wasn’t sitting well with him.
Still, to be safe, he and his wife, Linda, decided to get COVID-19 tests. A few days later, a phone call alerted the Pawleys Island couple they both were positive for the virus.
Although his wife never developed symptoms, Leonard Nelson’s condition deteriorated rapidly.
“He was sluggish and sleepy. He just had no energy,” Linda Nelson says of her husband, who serves as a deacon at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Pawleys Island.
When she noticed Leonard’s tongue had turned purple on Aug. 10, Linda Nelson took him to the emergency department at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital, where he would spend the next 17 days fighting for his life.
“By the grace of God, he got through this,” says Linda Nelson, who didn’t see her husband again until Aug. 27. “He’s doing pretty good now. The staff at Waccamaw took good care of him. They really treated him like a king.”