‘I want to see my friends again’: Florence County COVID survivor returns to church

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 6:16 AM EDT
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LAKE CITY, S.C. (WMBF) - For nearly a full year, Dan Thompkins battled COVID-19.

His fight with the virus lasted 306 days, to be exact. That included a 296-day stint at multiple medical facilities in the Pee Dee.

Less than a month after being released from the hospital, there seems to be a sense of normalcy returning for Thompkins and his family.

The COVID survivor was welcomed back to the congregation at Great Commission Ministries in Lake City on Sunday.

It was a day of celebration and praise, especially since Thompson hadn’t seen some of his closest friends at the church for months.

Pastor Derrick Fort and other church members welcomed him back with open arms, signs, balloons and even pom-poms to cheer on Thompkins’ arrival.

“We just want to rejoice today,” Fort said. “We are so full of excitement to have Danny back today and I just want to give God all the praise.”

Fort says he and Thompkins have known each other for many years, and even considers him a brother.

As Thompkins arrived he couldn’t wait to see his friends that have supported him for months.

“You know 300 days in the hospital, flat on your back. I wanted to see them,” he said. “I want to see my friends again.”

People from across the country have been following Thompkins’ recovery which has managed to bring more people together, much to his surprise.

His journey has also had its share of downfalls. That includes losing family and other friends to COVID as recently as two weeks ago.

Thompkins explained it almost made him lose his motivation to carry on, but he persevered.

“I’ve almost asked God to take me. Simply because it was, at some points, easier to die than it was to live,” he said.

Thompkins says those who followed his journey from across the country and in his hometown are keeping his spirits up, as he combats what COVID has taken from him.

“They’re the best friends I’ve ever had,” he said. “They are pushing me to the limit that I can’t thank them enough.”

To his church community, Thompkins is a blessed man.

“It just once again proof that the word of God to be true. What man said is impossible, with all things God, it is possible,” Fort said.

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