Geneva Wood is a 90-year-old resident of Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington famous for being one of the first stateside epicenters of the COVID-19 epidemic. At least two thirds of the residents in the Kirkland nursing home are believed to have been infected. Wood amazingly survived the infection, and in addition to family and the health wonders of homemade potato soup, she gives praise and glory to God for her incredible survival.
"I didn't know that I had the virus until I had the virus. I had no symptoms of it before," Wood told CBN News. "If it hadn't have been for my faith in God and my family and their prayers and all their families and the church and everything...the faith and prayers pulled me through.”
Isolation for the duration of the illness was hard on Wood. She was transferred to a nearby hospital for more intensive medical care than the nursing home could provide. Though on the literal verge of death, she was not permitted to interact with family physically because of fears the virus could spread even further. Near the time believed to be the end for Wood, doctors did allow the family to come say good-bye, even granting permission for family to interact with Wood through a glass window, virtually hugging through the glass, and for her daughter, Cami Neidigh to come “to hug her mom one last time” while sporting full protective gear.
"I knew that I was leaving with peace and that I wanted them to know that I loved them and enjoyed them," Wood tearfully spoke of her beloved family.
There were times in the lonely hospital bed that God was her only friend and companion besides the humming of the medical machines and the medical staff who periodically checked on her.
"I could feel God's presence,” Wood explained of her relationship with her Creator and Great Physician. “His hands were on my body and I could feel His presence and I'd wake up and I could feel these hands and I'd go back to sleep. Through the night, because I'd wake up, I couldn't see His face, but I could feel His hands and I knew He was with me and I made it through the night. Until you've felt God's presence and His hands on you, it's something else. If it hadn't have been for Him, I couldn't have done it. And I wasn't alone because He was with me all the time.”
Wood kept her Bible close to her hospital bedside, recalling Psalm 23 as one of her favorite and most comforting passages of scripture. Nineteen days after her whole health ordeal began, Wood was declared to have recovered. Wood’s family described her recovery as “miraculous.”
"Don't give up hope,” Wood advised others who may be infected with COVID-19. “God is always there and put your trust in Him and lean on Him and give your life to Him. And you'll make it, but you've got to not give up hope and fight."
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Written by Erin Parafet