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Denver pastor leaves hospital after nearly 2 months on ventilator with coronavirus

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A Colorado pastor who spent seven weeks intermittently on a ventilator due to the coronavirus was released from the hospital Wednesday nearly two months after he was admitted.

“God answers prayers,” Rev. Terrance “Big T” Hughes said to cheers when he left the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, according to FOX 31 in Denver.

Family and friends – who had only been able to FaceTime with Hughes since he was hospitalized on March 9 -- were waiting outside of the doors to greet him.

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“I think God’s in control of everything,” Hughes’ sister, Bonnie Hughes, said of his recovery.

Hughes’ wife Rachel Hughes told the Denver Post, “I was grateful he is alive and I could touch him. I didn’t know if I could touch him, but I did." The couple will have been married 20 years this July.

Hughes has lung and kidney damage from the virus and was immediately taken from the hospital to an acute care center in an ambulance.

Still, he thanked the medical staff, his family and his congregation before the ambulance drove away.

His wife was also able to give him a hug before he left.

“I was emotional and kind of nervous, I was shaky; it’s been so long,” she told the Post.

She also contracted COVID-19 but has fully recovered and was never hospitalized.

After the ambulance left, well-wishers and Veterans Administration employees lined up for three blocks waving flags, signs and balloons to celebrate his recovery, FOX 31 reported.

Hughes, an Air Force Veteran, is a co-pastor at New Covenant Christian Church/Alpha Omega Ministries Disciple of Christ in Denver.

“Every time the phone rang, I was so scared to answer,” Rachel Hughes said about his hospitalization. “It really taught me the meaning of pushing through. I had to keep pushing through.”

She also expressed her gratitude to the ICU team. “They supported us financially and spiritually; it is truly a blessing.”

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“I’m just grateful he is alive and able to go to the next stage, which is the rehabilitation,” Rachel Hughes said of his move to the acute care center, according to the Post. “Then, the next stage after that is coming home.”