It goes without saying, the year 2020 has given many of us our fair share of issues, problems, and challenges and there are still five months remaining. Life has certainly tested our resolve in every way imaginable given the Coronavirus pandemic, racial injustice, a struggling economy, and so much more. However, all is not lost and there is still a lot of good left to be grateful for. It is a blessing to be able to share a story of victory and triumph. Do you believe in the power of prayer? If not, then you want to continue reading this story. And if I ask you the same question a second time, perhaps you will have decided to change your answer.
Daily, there are countless messages birthed out of all that’s going on in the world today. I am grateful to share many of them with you right here in Dove Style Magazine. We just never know how the testimony of someone else will inspire us as we navigate the challenges of life. What you’re about to witness is what happens when having a will to live, a praying wife and village, and the presence of unconditional love all come together to take the fight of a lifetime head on!
Edgar and Jennifer Baldwin know firsthand how the power of prayer got them through one of the most difficult times in their marriage and probably their entire lives; and, how they got through it, together.
As the onslaught of COVID-19 cases were being reported by the news back in early March, Edgar, affectionately known as Ezzy, had come down with the common cold. For about a week he had a slight cough, but nothing like what was being described in the news as a symptom of the Coronavirus. Because he had come down with numerous colds before, initially, he didn’t think anything differently. In his words, “It was just a cough.” However, one Monday evening while DJing for his family and friends during a Facebook LIVE, his condition began to worsen and he shared with everyone watching that he wasn’t feeling well. However, he insisted on continuing the set until the end of the live feed and when it ended, he decided to rest to see if that would help him to feel better. Little did he know that he was about to embark on an unexpected journey that he and his wife would never forget.
Jennifer felt in her spirit that something wasn’t right, but never thought for a moment that her husband had the Coronavirus. However, to err on the side of caution, she insisted that Ezzy go to the doctor to be examined and get whatever medicine was needed to get him back on a road to feeling better. As some of you ladies reading can attest with your husbands or significant others, Jennifer was met with resistance. Ezzy felt it was not necessary and wanted to continue to rest in the comfort of their own home. But thank God she didn’t allow his pushback to deter her and called in the “Calvary.” Who is the Calvary you ask? Her mom, friends, and anyone else who would help her convince him to go to the hospital to get checked out.
As the night progressed, in addition to the cough, Ezzy had spiked a fever and started having diarrhea. Although his symptoms were similar to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, it wasn’t until later that night when Jennifer, who describes how God told her to Google diarrhea as a possible symptom for the Coronavirus, and there it was! In addition, she shared that Ezzy had become lethargic and how she felt numb and became more concerned about the reality of what could possibly be the outcome. At that point, together they decided that going to the hospital was the best next step.
Devastated and uneasy was how Jennifer described how she felt on the ride back home after having to leave her husband’s side at a time that she felt they really needed each other. From that day forward, she camped out in the living room of their home and talked to a small selection of family and friends who would help she and her husband get through this ordeal. Jennifer’s mom played a major part in this journey, as she read to her, prayed with her, and reminded her about her faith. She shared how those actions got her through that first day and helped to prepare her for the many days ahead.
A few days later, Jennifer received another call from the hospital informing her that Ezzy’s prognosis was grim and that they were trying everything medically possible to save him, but nothing was working. They asked if he had an advance directive in place, just in case, because it was not looking good for him. Ill prepared, Jennifer’s first response was, “I am not ready for this conversation, I will have to call you back.” Reaching out to family and friends, she had a lot to think about and needed to make some serious decisions fast.
Although Ezzy had no recollection of it, he went LIVE on Facebook and shared how he was feeling and thanked everyone for all their love and support. He even shared that he was going to be on a ventilator for 3 to 5 days and he would see everyone soon. In the midst of all that he was experiencing, he was staying positive and trying to calm everyone’s concerns.
However, his wife knew that it was time to fight. When I tell you that a praying wife cannot be moved, I mean it. This was Spiritual warfare and Jennifer was ready for the battle. Just two days later having been on the ventilator, she received yet another call again, telling her that it was not looking good for Ezzy and she needed to be prepared for the worse because he was deteriorating. Not even a minute after processing that information, the first thing she said to the doctor was, “What’s his blood pressure?” He replied that it was within normal limits. She responded, “That means he wants to LIVE”! Jennifer Baldwin was in full fight mode. During the interview she shared with me that she immediately started to pray, “Edgar shall live and not die, Edgar shall live and declare the works of the Lord.”
But what she didn’t realize was that as she was fighting for her husband’s life, this uphill battle was about to double in size. Her father, who’s 75 years old and lives with them, also was having difficulty breathing and had to be taken to the hospital. Yes, they both had tested positive for COVID-19 and were both hospitalized.
Thankfully, her father was eventually able to come home and recovered, but unfortunately, her husband was still in the fight which meant so was she. As we continued to talk, Jennifer shared how God guided her every step of the way. She knew that if she did not obey, she believed that Ezzy would die. It was amazing to sit down with both of them as they shared their story because as Ezzy began to recall what happened, he realized that he didn’t remember a huge chunk of details and needed his wife to fill in the gaps.
Jennifer had two major requests that needed to happen. First, she demanded that they give her husband Vitamin C, and secondly, she wanted to be able to talk to him, even though she knew he could not talk back. She asked the nurse to please set aside a regularly scheduled time to hold the phone to his ear and allow her to speak to him. She even created a list of people near and dear to him that she knew he would want to hear from to be able to do the same. She also fasted and prayed continuously. Approximately about a week after Ezzy had been ventilated, she received the call that she had been waiting for and one she will never forget. He was improving and a decision had been made to take him off the ventilator! However, it was an incredibly happy moment that was short-lived, because not soon after, Ezzy showed signs that the ventilator was still needed.
There were new concerns that he was not responding to verbal commands leading to possible brain damage from him being heavily medicated and ventilated for a long period of time. But guess who was not having any of it. Wifey, that’s who! The doctor’s wanted to perform an MRI on Ezzy to check his brain activity, however, Jennifer told them not to rush it and to give him time. She continued to fight on her husband’s behalf. Fast forward, God’s timing was impeccable as usual because on Easter Sunday of all days, Jennifer received a call that her husband was finally responding to verbal commands and days later the ventilator was removed. Praise God!
With everything still a blur, Ezzy was able to pick up where he had left off and began to share some of the first things that he remembered. When he initially opened his eyes, he recalled not seeing anyone around, and because he was on the ventilator for over two weeks, he was extremely weak and had practically no voice at all. He tried calling out to someone, anyone to assist him, but to no avail. He said that it seemed that no one was paying attention.
He did make a confession during the interview that the moment he woke up, people seemed to be passing him by, and jokingly, he thought that they were preparing to take his organs and sell them. Well, at least we know that his imagination and sense of humor was intact.
Seriously though, the very first words that were said to him when he woke up were, “Do you know where you are?, Do you know what day it is?”, and the last question, which I refrain from sharing his response to was…lol, “Do you know who the President is? Initially, there were many things that Ezzy did not remember. But one thing that he did not forget was his wife’s cell phone number. The first words she heard on the other end of the phone which sounded like music to her ears were, “Hey babe”. I am sure that those words hold are even more special than they ever did before.
Jennifer mentioned that she continued to pray over the next couple of weeks as Ezzy continued to heal and asked the Angels to keep him covered. This would prove to be so powerful and I can’t share everything that followed because I plan to interview them during a Facebook LIVE segment as well. Let’s just say that he had a few more close calls with death before deciding to relax, listen to the doctors and his “praying” wife.
Thirty-two days in the hospital, with 15 of them in ICU, 65 pounds lost, and 2 negative COVID-19 tests later, it was time for Ezzy to finally be released from the hospital. His medical team initially suggested that he needed to transition to a nursing home or an acute rehabilitation center for recovery, but Jennifer had another plan in mind. Reflecting on the vows she made to her husband on their wedding day, especially the part, “in sickness and in health,” coupled by her faith, she emphatically told them, that she could take care of him at home. On a lighter note, they did not fight her too hard on that idea because they felt like Ezzy might be a little much to handle in rehab.
They pictured him pulling all the wires off and “breaking out”. During another stay in the hospital, he had actually tried that, so that thought wasn’t far from the truth, but we will save that for the LIVE broadcast, lol.
Jennifer let them know, if he stayed, they would have had to watch him around the clock and lock down all the wheelchairs because he wanted to come home so badly. Agreeing with her and knowing that she had made a great point, lol, they sent him home with her. As if going home wasn’t the best gift ever, little did Ezzy know, Jennifer had contacted a few very close friends to greet him as they returned home from the hospital to give him the biggest welcome he had ever received. Simply, he described it as, “Beautiful.”
By sharing their story, I asked the Baldwins individually what message they wanted to send to those reading it. Jennifer said that she wants others to know that this test was given to her to help enhance the Kingdom of God. Ezzy, on the other hand said, and I quote, “God kept me here to let people know how serious this virus really is.” He also shared that his wife proved that she is the REAL MVP and earned the title “RIDE OR DIE,” hands down.
Clearly, the Baldwins were in the fight of their lives and they made it through together. Their testimony is powerful and is a living an example of how prayer, unconditional love, and the seriousness of vows in marriage, as well as the power of true friendship is a winning combination to overcome any challenge. The gratitude and appreciation shown to their family and friends who banned together and prayed as a community, further explains the importance of walking in togetherness in love. We cannot do this thing called life alone. We need each other and we truly need our Lord and Savior.
For more information, or to contact the Baldwins about their story, or to send love and support, you can email them at: Jennifer Baldwin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Edgar Baldwin (email@example.com)