Danny Reeves is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas, who is currently fighting a serious case of COVID-19. Following several very dicey days in the ICU, doctors took Reeves off of forced oxygen to “test the response,” according to Reeves’ Twitter account. During Reeves’ nearly three-week battle and counting with COVID-19, several have noted some of Reeves’ past tweets, which disputed the seriousness of the pandemic and criticized vaccinations and social distancing protocols. Since then, Reeves has owned his past mistakes and is now urging Christians to “learn from my story” and get vaccinated, using hashtags like “#pleasegetvaxed” and “#learnfrommystory.”
“I was wrong,” he tweeted last weekend. “I pray my experience is a lesson to whomever you are. I deeply appreciate your prayers.”
The story really begins last year. Reeves tweeted his frustrations about shutdown orders and mask mandates several times, implying that media outlets and the government were overreacting to the virus. Then on July 16 of this year, Reeves tweeted that he was being admitted to the emergency room. “Can’t breathe,” he tweeted. “Doesn’t look good.”
The following day, Reeves tweeted that “last night was the hardest night of my life” and detailed some trial medical procedures he’d agreed to let doctors attempt to ease his symptoms. “Lungs not working, but I’m fighting!!!!!”
The ensuing days detail an agonizing struggle for survival, with lungs that refuse to cooperate and symptoms that briefly ease only to come back in full force the next day. “Ended up on knees gasping for air at edge of bed,” Reeves tweeted at one point. “It takes so much out of me.” He also thanked the hospital staff for their tireless efforts to ease his pain and thanked many supporters for their prayer and encouragement. “Nurses have been used of God,” he tweeted. “Many people being used of Lord to motivate me.”
It was also around this time that others began to point out Reeves’ past tweets, in which he had dismissed or even mocked COVID-19 safety protocols. As Reeves condition has slowly started to improve, he has started to share more of his story, and his change of heart. While he maintains that “it is clear vaccines were not the definitive answer,” he also says that he will be getting vaccinated now and hopes “you will get vaccinated if that’s your decision.”
“Covid pneumonia is no joke,” he said. “I inadvertently underestimated it.”
13) Life is a process of learning. At times you're wrong & sometimes U learn U were right. I strive to be a lifelong learner. This has been a wonderful lesson for me. Gods grace thru our mistakes is His greatest blessing.
— Danny Reeves (@DannyReeves33) July 22, 2021
As more people have started following Reeves’ journey, he has also encouraged love, kindness and understanding. “Remember every person is someone’s dad, mom, son, or daughter. Every person is a creation of God & deserves love & respect.”
Reeves’ story is one of many being told of people who were vaccine hesitant who came around after a bad bout with the virus. Reeves says his doctors expect him to stay in the hospital for at least another week while his lungs and heart heal.
But not every COVID patient lives to reconsider their previous stance on vaccinations. One Alabama doctor named Dr. Brytney Cobia posted on Facebook that she has admitted younger, unvaccinated patients to Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham. “One of the last things they do before they’re intubated is beg me for the vaccine. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late.”