Darren Dennison's Road To Recovery After Severe Illness: "It Is A Miracle From God"
**Editor's Note: This story contains content about God, faith, answered prayer, and KJV Bible verses. If you don't like these things you might want to stop reading now.**
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Darren Dennison and his wife Angela returned home to their Chalybeate residence today after Darren's 19-day hospital stay in a fierce battle with COVID-19. When asked about the emotional ride that her family has taken over the past two and a half weeks, she simply said, "It is a miracle from God. That's what I can tell you."
They were met with more than a dozen cars lining the street with balloons tied to mailboxes and trash cans as the Dennisons made their way through their subdivision. The ones in their cars honked their horns, others waved, some cried tears of joy, and one lady said "thank you, Lord."
We spoke with Angela this afternoon as Darren tried to catch up on some sleep.
"You won't find a bigger germ-a-phobe than Darren," she said with a laugh. "He's always been careful and about three weeks or so ago he had some allergies and a cough. Knowing this virus was starting to go around, he went to the doctor but no one thought he had the virus. He just kept getting sicker and went back to the doctor and that's when they wanted to admit him--not for COVID--but for fluids. Because he was in the ER, he had to be tested, but the doctors still didn't think it was COVID. They went ahead and admitted him and as it turned out, he was on a ventilator before he even got his positive test result."
She said her husband was very calm and confident as he went into the hospital. She said he knew it was the right thing to do and that he comforted her and his two teenage daughters, Breanna and Karina, both students at Edmonson County High School. The next 10 days would be crucial for Darren's life as he spent them on a ventilator, completely separated from his family.
"It was such a roller coaster," she said. As she continued the conversation, her voice began to tremble.
"It was one Saturday morning and the Lord let me pray. I just hadn't fully turned it over to Him yet, but I did that morning. I knew that once I put it all in His hands, I knew it would be okay. I had such a peace. I didn't know when, but I I knew things were going to be alright."
There were slight improvements, slight setbacks, but the biggest turn came after a bad night. It was the same Saturday, April 5th that she had received peace from her prayer but that night was anything but peaceful for Darren.
"He had been on a ventilator for a week and he just got worse. He was critical. The only thing I knew to do was put out a plea for prayer."
She sent messages to her church family (Pleasant Union United Baptist) and other area churches, family, friends, and anyone she could think of that could offer a prayer on their behalf on the following day, which was Sunday, April 6th. She posted on her Facebook page the plea and quoted Mark 11: 23,24 KJV: "23-For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24-Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."
"I could feel people praying. By the end of the night he had turned around. We didn't even know how to process it. He continued to improve and by Thursday he was off the ventilator and he came home today."
While Darren was all smiles underneath his mask (you could see it in his eyes) he was unable to speak with us; however, Angela said he was thankful, humbled, and that he will speak for himself once he gets a little stronger. He will begin a new two-week quarantine to ensure the virus has completely run it's course and there is absolutely no further risk of contagion. He is in a recliner at home while Angela will sleep in another room. His daughters will be staying with other family during the quarantine.
It will still be a while before he returns to work as the Superintendent of the Leitchfield Water Plant, where he is in charge of an award-winning operation. Dennison is highly respected not only in his profession, but as an all-around person. Angela said he had already put safety measures in place at the plant far before they were required from the coronavirus pandemic.
The family was sent off today by about 25 Medical Center nurses, doctors, and staff members.
"I can't say enough about about the medical and nursing staff we had. They put themselves at risk for my husband. They were very patient and understanding with me. They were just so good. I told them today, I thank God first, and you second."
The conversation ended with plenty of tears (of joy) and somewhat of a sigh of relief.
"You try to understand things. Why things happen. But I believe sometimes God just tests our faith. He wants to show us what He can do. When we turn things over to Him, He does the rest. He performed a miracle and we can never repay everyone for their prayers or thank them enough. We are just so blessed, so thankful, and so humbled."