April 30, 2020
The first person in Adair County to be diagnosed with the coronavirus has recovered, and friends and family celebrated the good news Friday with a parade.
Organized by their family, the long line of cars filled with smiling faces, waves and displayed posters brought a smile to 76-year-old Jim Hagan and his wife, Thelma, as they waved back from their driveway.
“I thought it was very nice,” said Jim. “It was a surprise.”
Susan Minton is a longtime friend of Jim’s and participated in his recovery parade.
“I met Jim when I first came to Columbia. He made me feel a part of Columbia and the Adair County community,” said Minton. “During these times of uncertainty, confusion and frustration, seeing him and knowing he beat the virus gives each a sense of hope, encouragement and thankfulness. He’s proof that we can do this.”
Despite some weakness, Hagan is feeling pretty well, as well as having plenty of appetite and sleep.
For the last month, Hagan’s health was a different story.
After discovering that he tested positive for the coronavirus on March 31, the Hagans were shocked.
“He didn’t have the symptoms that most people have,” said Thelma.
Hagan showed no shortness of breath, but just a hacking cough, an occasional slight fever and feeling bad.
Days prior to testing positive for COVID-19, Hagan had been diagnosed with pneumonia. He had been in and out of the emergency room and was eventually admitted to T. J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow. He was tested for the virus and after being home several days, they got the news.
“I have no idea where he got it,” said Thelma.
Thelma never tested positive for the coronavirus herself and isn’t sure how she managed to escape it. She stayed in quarantine for the recommended time period and took caution at home.
“I was with him for all those many days and after they called on Tuesday, I started wearing a mask and being more careful.”
A blood clot in his lung and worsening pneumonia sent Hagan back to the hospital days later, where he stayed for seven more days. Thelma would find out his status through two daily phone calls with doctors because visitors were not allowed in the hospital.
“Two days in that time that the doctors talked to me, they said it can go either way,” said Thelma.
Jim recalled that he was given oxygen, but was never ventilated. The hospital stay on the isolation floor is a bit of a blur for him.
Thelma said that God’s goodness and the faithful prayers of the community kept them hopeful.
“Many churches, friends, family and so many people were praying for him,” said Thelma.
Now, they give glory to God for Jim’s recovery. Thelma described the moment they learned he was going to recover.
“It was wonderful and there were a lot of praises going up,” said Thelma.
The Hagans have advice for anyone who may experience what they did.
“Be as patient as possible, hang in there and hope and pray that it’ll pass,” said Jim. “Try to stay strong and work through it,” added Thelma to all caregivers.
Jim is looking forward to getting back to the important things in life.
“Enjoying my family, church, being with people and my friends.”
By Anna Buckman
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