COVID-19 Survivor, Bishop O.C. Allen III To Nurse: 'I Want To Die At Home'
Openly gay Bishop O.C. Allen III, Senior Pastor of The Vision Church of Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, and a COVID-19 survivor, shared a message of hope and opened up about his experience with the coronavirus to millions of Americans during an appearance on "Pandemic: What You Need To Know" early Friday on ABC.
When describing a moment where he thought he was near the end of his fight with the novel coronavirus, Allen recalled telling his nurse that he "wanted to die at home." But it was the small acts of kindness from nurses and medical staff that gave Allen the strength he needed to return home alive to his husband and two children.
"I whispered, I couldn't really talk, I said I wanted to die at home," said Allen.
"I couldn't stand to be in this space where I wasn't surrounded by my family. The nurse came over and rubbed my hand, and my spouse of 18 years had framed a picture that he gave the nurses to give to me. She put it up on the window ledge and it gave me hope," added Allen.
The suspension of in-person church services and Allen's admission into the hospital occurred around the same time. He praised his congregation for making the transition to virtual services so seamlessly.
"My church, The Vision Church of Atlanta, stepped up to the plate in a way that was absolutely amazing," said Allen. "The innovation and creativity that was unleashed through our members and the faithfulness and the commitment of people who are connected to our ministry and church, was just beyond anything I could have imagined."
When asked about how COVID-19 has personally changed him, Allen had this to say:
"This has taught me to be absolutely brave in the midst of challenge. One of the things that my spouse Rashad Burgess has helped me to understand, my church—Vision Church of Atlanta...has helped me to understand...and my community—the Black community, the LGBTQI community—this community that we live in in Atlanta...I'm learning that we are a brave people. This is a brave generation. And this generation will be known for its acts of braveness and compassion, said Allen.
His final message to viewers at the end of the interview: "Stay Brave. Be Brave. Be Bold. Be Brave."
Watch Bishop O.C. Allen's ABC segment in the clip below.