Texas pastor in need of lung transplant after contracting COVID-19

SHEPHERD, Texas (KTRK) -- A pastor from Shepherd, Texas will need a lung transplant after a long battle with COVID-19, his family said.

During the height of February's historic winter storm, Pastor Rick Jolley was there to help. Jolley gave a hand by fixing pipes and getting supplies for others.

A week later, the 63-year-old ended up in the hospital with COVID-19. He hasn't been back home since.

"Today is 36 days since he's been in the hospital at Memorial Hermann," said his son Jordan Jolley. "You live your life thinking you'll be okay. 'I'm strong, I'm healthy, I'll be okay.' It just caught him off guard."

The virus ravaged Rick's lungs, and he now needs a transplant.

So, on a day when he hoped to be giving an Easter sermon, the pastor and his family are hoping their experience will stand as its own message.

"My advice would be to love your family and to respect this disease for what it is," Jordan said. "It's a terrible, terrible disease. So take all precautions necessary."

Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page for hospital expenses.

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