TECUMSEH, Okla. (KFOR) – A local pastor is finally recovering at home after a 195-day battle with COVID-19 in several Oklahoma hospitals.
“I never thought I’d see this day,” said Pastor Tony “Bud” Peak of Tecumseh First Baptist Church. “You can’t quit, even if you get discouraged or depressed or shed some tears, but you just can’t quit.”
Friday morning, Peak’s congregation and family lined up along Highway 9 with signs and balloons to welcome him home.
“It put a warm spot in my heart that people would care that much,” Peak said.
COVID-19 hit the 67 year old in November, causing him to pass out in his living room.
Over the next few months, the pastor jumped from hospital to hospital, hooked up to trach tubes, ventilators and other machines.
During his fight, Bud said there were several close calls.
“They called [my wife] twice and said, ‘If you want to see him alive again, you better get up here,’” said the pastor. “But each time, God said, ‘I’m not ready for him.’”
A large chunk of Bud’s battle is missing from his memory. He said one day while he was watching television, he noticed there was a commercial for a possible Valentine’s Day gift.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute!’ I asked my wife, ‘Have we done Thanksgiving? Have we done Christmas? Did we do my birthday on January 6th?’ I didn’t remember any of it,” said Bud as his family laughed around him.
Although Peak may not remember, his family and congregation held several events for him, including a prayer vigil and a marching band performance outside his hospital room.
Peak’s secret to healing includes three things, Persistence, patience and prayer.
“You can’t quit. Even if you get discouraged or depressed or shed some tears, but you just can’t quit,” he said. “Most of the roads to success are not short roads. And if you look off in the distance where your goal is you’ll get discouraged. But, if you get up each morning and say ‘how many baby steps can I take to get us where we need to go,’ that’ll get you quite a ways.
“Oh, third thing. Have some really good people praying for you.”
In the end, Bud said he knows exactly what pushed him through his battle.
”My faith in God. He never leaves you or forsakes you. A great hospital staff everywhere I went, and the love of this woman,” he said as he patted his wife’s knee with tears in his eyes.” I couldn’t have done it without all three of them.”
Pastor Peak said he wants to start preaching again in July or August, even if he has to do it from a wheelchair.