Precious Time - by Sullivan McKoy
Since March, our country has really changed from the way people work, the way people socialize, and even the way kids do school because of the COVID-19 virus. In addition, many people have lost loved ones to this virus as it has killed thousands of individuals in our country. Losing my grandfather, Jack West, to the COVID-19 has made me realize that we are not promised tomorrow, and it has shown me how valuable time is.
It all began when my grandfather thought it was just an upper respiratory infection but he went to the doctor anyway. When he arrived at the doctor’s office, the doctor tested him to see if he was positive for the COVID-19. The doctor told him to wait a few days until the results came back. As the days progressed, he did not feel any better. Five dreadful days later the results came back and my grandfather tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Immediately after they found out, my grandmother, Flonnie West who we call Ma, drove him to the emergency room at Kershaw Health in Camden. This was the last place she saw him because they could not allow her to be exposed and in the hospital with him. Since Ma lived with Jack, she was asked to be tested for the Covid-19, as well, even though she did not show any symptoms. Three days later, the results came back and she tested positive! The doctors told her since she did not have any symptoms to self-quarantine herself for three weeks in her house. In the meantime, Kershaw Health transferred Jack to Prisma Health in Columbia, South Carolina, due to the severity of the illness. While Jack was at Prisma Health, they moved the ventilator up to a 100% which means it was doing all of the breathing for him. Later that day, the doctors told us that they found fluid on his lungs that they were going to turn him prone (on his side) to try to move the fluid off the lungs. The doctors were also worried about turning him on his side because he was highly sedated and feared how his heart would react to this change. The next day, the doctors told our family that his heart took the turning of his body well, but it did not remove the fluid from off his lungs. The nurses and doctors tried all the medicines available, but none of them was helping him. Sadly, on Wednesday, March 25th, Jack passed away. The doctors told us even if Jack survived the Covid-19, he would have never been the same. He might have even been bedridden and would require life support assistance the rest of his life. From the time Jack first became ill to the time of his passing away was only three short weeks.
My grandfather’s life was lived in a way that he showed he always cared about others and enjoyed doing for others. He showed this by taking his family places or doing things for them and with them. For example, Jack often took me golfing, hunting, to football games, and to basketball games. Every Thanksgiving Day, Jack always let us use his hunting lodge for all the family to be together for this special time of year. Even on Christmas Eve, it was our tradition where Jack would take our family to his church’s Christmas Eve service and then to his friend’s Christmas Eve party in their neighborhood. Time spent together with Jack, whether it was hunting or on the holidays, will greatly be missed.
One of the many things we will never forget is the legacy that Jack left behind for his family and friends. Jack’s legacy was that he always loved doing things for others. Jack loved not only his family, but everyone he met and he always treated people very well. He was even known as a “prince of a gentleman” by many people. Jack was an example of how you may not be able to prove love, but love can always be shown. Jack showed love.
None of us are promised tomorrow which makes time that much more valuable. During this time of uncertainty we are all living in, it has made me not only realize how valuable time is but that we all need to trust God‘s plan in all situations. Jack will always be loved and missed but he is in a better place with Jesus.
The Cornerstone Christian Family is so impressed with Sullivan and appreciates her parent's permission to print this paper. We also would like to express our condolences and our love to the entire McKoy/West family.