GLASGOW, Ky. (KT) – Lynn Traylor’s experience with COVID-19 has underscored the value of compassion and prayer.
Traylor, the associational ministry strategist for the Liberty Baptist Association, is home recovering from the coronavirus. He came home Monday after the longest hospital stay of his life - five days - and the first ambulance ride.
He said many of the pastor friends from the association brought food and checked on them regularly during the past two weeks. It was actually the advice of one of their wives, who is a nurse, that may have saved him or at the least kept him from becoming threateningly ill.
Traylor and his wife, Shirley, both contracted the coronavirus but with far different reactions. They both were exposed while working near someone in their new house. Lynn said they kept proper social distancing from the worker but apparently picked it up through surface contamination, medical officials surmised.
The worker called the Traylors two weeks after doing the work to tell them he had tested positive for the coronavirus. “I had stayed six feet away from him but apparently he touched enough stuff in the house that it was on the surface,” Traylor said.
His wife became ill and tested positive for the coronavirus and they began quarantining together. Lynn figured he was next.
“If she’s got it, I was pretty sure I’ve got it,” he said. “I was the one in the house.”
Traylor began to have body aches, was fatigued and his breathing became shallow. His wife showed no other symptoms than being extremely tired. “She just wanted to sleep all the time,” he said. “She had a cough before (contracting the disease) and thought it (the cough) wasn’t related.”
However, his condition, especially the labored breathing, began to get worse for him. “I couldn’t breathe very well and had no energy. I was weak as a kitten.”
He went to urgent care in Glasgow and they x-rayed his lungs and gave him an inhaler and antibiotics. However, even after the aches and paints departed, the breathing wasn’t any better.
One of the visitors who brought some groceries was Horse Cave Pastor Kevin Denton, whose wife is a nurse. Denton didn't like what he saw and told his wife. They were able to give the Traylors a machine that read his oxygen level. When he reported back to her some bad numbers – his oxygen level was 89 at a resting rate - she said to immediately get to the hospital.
“So for the first time in my life, I rode in an ambulance,” he said.
Traylor said the care from the doctors at the T.J. Samson Hospital in Glasgow was aggressive and excellent, including a CT scan. “They said 80 to 90 percent get the coronavirus in the throat but yours has traveled to your lungs and that’s why we have to get you better.”
He said his lymph nodes in the chest were enlarged and they didn’t know if it was from inflammation or infection. He goes back in June to check on the lymph nodes to see if they have shrunk to normal size.
Traylor, 63, said he was frightened after hearing and reading so much about the coronavirus. He didn’t want to have to be put on a respirator, understanding the consequences in that scenario wasn't good. He remained in the hospital for five days but never needed the respirator.
Traylor, who said he had no other underlying health conditions, was released Monday and said he has begun to start feeling much better already.
Looking back on the experience, which came quickly, he said he was thankful for so many who reached out to him and his wife. He became emotional when talking about the care that he received from his Christian family of brothers and sisters who also continually lifted him up in prayer.
“What I’m most grateful for is God’s watch-care and providence with the people who intervened,” he said. “They were there with me every step of the way calling and checking on us, bringing groceries and giving us advice. The experience has taught me how many great opportunities churches have to show compassion to people who are struggling with COVID-19 whether it’s bringing things to their home or making sure they know they are prayed for.”
Traylor said he also had regular calls from Eric Allen and Rick Howerton of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a further extension of his church family that brought him and his wife comfort in a stressful time.