Brad Jefferson- COVID Survivor: Bob Jones Coach Had Prayers Answered
MADISON- Brad Jefferson is a COVID survivor.
The 18-year veteran coach in the Madison City Schools is currently the head coach of the Bob Jones track program and assistant cheer coach. He teaches career prep at the school and is for the first time in the local media willing to share his near fatal fight with COVID as he spent 28 days in Madison Hospital strictly isolated from the outside world including his family- his wife of 18 years, Stephanie, and their three children, Bailey, 17, Briley, 16 and Savannah, 11.
“My biggest fear was I would die alone in the hospital not being able to say goodbye to my entire family including my mother and brother,” said Jefferson. “I had this empty feeling in my gut I would die alone as there was nobody around except for the hospital workers. I told them I wanted to go home to die, and I asked God not to let this be my time to go as I knew I had so much more to give. My prayers were answered as I’m alive, but still battle the virus every moment of each day.”
The 47-year old Jefferson’s ordeal with the virus began in mid-November, 2020 when he didn’t feel well and was tested for COVID-19. His results were negative, but he still did not feel up to par. Two days later he was tested again and this time the test came back positive. Just over 24 hours later his condition worsened to where he had difficulty breathing so he took himself to Madison Hospital where he was quickly admitted and was told by doctors to possibly expect to remain there for at least a month. Four days after arriving at the medical facility on Highway 72 when he developed a fever he was moved to ICU, which had only one bed space remaining. He would remain there for five days undergoing treatments of plasma and medications. He was struggling to breath and his health continued to deteriorate.
“I told the attending physicians I did want to be placed on a ventilator and refused their offer to place me on the device,” said Jefferson. “I told them if it was my time to die, so be it. I was placed on a feeding tube and wore a mask 24 hours a day as pneumonia set into my lungs.”
His condition soon became stabilized enough to where he was moved to a special COVID section of the hospital in a regular room where he remained for 19 days. His only communication with his family was through his phone, which made his ordeal even more stressful. Tending physicians told him he had a 35-percent chance of survival from COVID.
After 28 days in the hospital, he was finally allowed to return to his home with a specially designed hospital bed equipped with oxygen where his recovery began at a slow pace.
Today, recovery continues for this one-time elite athlete. He has amassed over 40 pounds of fluid, which remain in his body as his legs and stomach are enlarged and his skin on both his chest and back feel as though there on fire. He also suffers from asthma and has an asthma medication pump with him at all times. When he left the hospital he was prescribed 16 pills a day. Today he has cut that medication intake to just six.
Jefferson has faced death. He won the current battle and looks for more life experiences in the years to come with his own family and the student-athletes he feels are like his family. Whatever becomes of the outcome of his skirmish with the virus he will know part of his body was taken from him, but his soul is intact.
The complete details of Jefferson’s near-death experience are available in the September issue of the Madison Living Magazine available throughout Madison and on-line at www.themadisonrecord.com.