Portsmouth man receives surprise welcome home after beating COVID-19

Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth man got a big welcome home Sunday.

James Smith just returned from New York, where he caught and battled COVID-19. His family and friends wanted to show their love and support.

Just around the corner from Smith’s home, family and friends lined up in their cars ready to give him a surprise welcome.

“We want to welcome Jamie home and tell everyone that prayer does work,” said one family member.

“This could have been a processional behind a hearse, but instead it’s a parade and my heart is overjoyed,” said his sister Sharon Bullock.

Family and friends congratulated him on his victory over the deadly illness that he contracted over two weeks ago.

“I didn’t have a lot of symptoms that led up to it, but I laid down one night to go to sleep and I could hardly breathe, so I called 911,” Smith said.

He never imagined that he would see a day like this based on what the doctors said.

“Two days after I was admitted to the hospital, they brought in two gentlemen who were in rooms next to me both of them died. Both of them passed away, so I feel very fortunate. And I just thank you, Jesus. God has been good to me,” he explained.

Emotions took over as he watched the cars ride by with signs while cheering.

“I’m very fortunate to see all these people come out today just to see me. All of those people that you just saw come through here, plus those that you didn’t see and many that you didn’t see they prayed for me from a distance,” Smith said.

But one person in particular could not keep her distance.

Tearfully Smith said, “I’m sorry my mom just showed up I haven’t seen my mom in maybe three months.”

His mother lovingly embraced him and screamed out, “God I thank you, thank you!!”

COVID-19 brought pain, but it also brought this moment to appreciate life.

Moments like this can put everything into perspective for a family. James is overjoyed he had this moment but he also asked that everyone stay home so we can beat this illness, so other families can know this relief.


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