HIGH POINT, N.C. — A story of faith has now turned into a story of survival as a pastor from High Point has beaten his battle against COVID-19 and is now home with his family.
54-year-old Pastor Rory Baker who leads Fruit of the Spirit Ministries in Greensboro emerged through the doorway of the Hayworth Cancer Center at High Point Medical Center into the waiting open arms of cheering family and friends, Tuesday.
"God has been faithful and prayers have been answered," said Pastor Rory Baker as he was wheeled towards a waiting van.
Last month WFMY News 2 told you about a stranger who prayed with Baker's wife outside the hospital.
Nearly 3 months later, his family said they are thankful for all the prayers they've received from many more people across the Triad and beyond.
"Thank you to everyone who was praying for him, because your prayers are what helped us through it all as a family, the prayers just helped him and we believed in it," said Riley Baker, who spoke along side her sister Jasmine.
"I appreciate everybody coming out to celebrate this momentous occasion," said Baker, a father of seven.
Baker was diagnosed with COVID-19 and admitted to the hospital in the first week of April.
His family feared he wouldn't come out alive.
"I feel so blessed and grateful that God has allowed my husband to walk through those hospital doors and to be able to go home to us. I am truly grateful," said his wife Melissa Baker.
Doctors placed Baker on a ventilator to help him breathe and according to Baker, he was in very bad shape and often thought he would not pull through.
"I was in a coma, I had shingles, I had to be on dialysis, it's just so many different things that happened but I thank God that I lived to see this day," said Baker.
In a story that has inspired many, Baker's wife consistently prayed for him twice a day at the hospital window, clutching a bible with a picture of a pair of healthy lungs.
She would also walk around the building praying for the doctors, nurses, and other COVID-19 patients. Now she's happy to see how those prayers have been answered.
"To God be the Glory, I really just thank everyone who continued to pray and fast for family, and for my husband," said Mrs. Baker.
Mrs. Baker said she and the children plan to spend the next coming days helping Pastor Baker reacquaint himself with life away from the hospital.
"He loves watching TV, he just wants his remote control and to sit in his chair and sit back and relax and turn on the TV and just enjoy the children and just enjoy being back at home," she said.
The stranger who prayed with Mrs. Baker after spotting her 'anointing oil' stained fingerprints on the window is no longer a stranger.
"Take care, my friend, I love you too," said Rodney Simpson the coordinator of The Fitness Center at the hospital as he said goodbye to the Bakers.
Simpson got to meet Pastor Baker privately and was at the hospital entrance to celebrate the pastor's release with the family and church congregation.
"Great things happen with great testing and he has been tested and great things are about to happen. So I just thank the Lord for being faithful and answering the prayers of this man," said Simpson.
Before heading into the waiting van, Pastor Baker said there was a lot that people could learn from his ordeal with COVID-19.
"I was a 54-year-old male, healthy, no health problems, not taking any medications and my life was turned upside down in a matter of days," said Baker.
"Some people don't take this serious but it is real and it could adversely affect your life, so take heed and take warning to what they're asking us to do," he urged.
Pastor Baker said while he may have won his own battle with the virus with the help of both medical staff and faith in his beliefs, he urged to continue praying for the many more folks who still need a miracle for their recovery.