PRINCETON, Ky. (KT) — Ronnie Sivells, a long-time Kentucky Baptist pastor and evangelist, said he is “going through the roughest thing in my life” as his wife struggles to survive the coronavirus.
Sivells and his wife, Sandy, both tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 11. He has recovered, but his wife of 52 years was airflighted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday, where she is being treated in the intensive care unit for COVID-19 pneumonia.
Sivells said he is asking God for a miracle so she can return home.
“We need people to pray for her — we welcome prayers,” Sivells said.
He noted she had polio when she was 4 years old and has experienced health problems ever since. “Doctors tell us that the fact she had polio aged her body 20 years.” She was on kidney dialysis for years, then was the recipient of a kidney transplant from her sister, Susan Delawson, in 2002.
“We know God is all powerful and there’s nothing He can’t do, so we are praying and we are thankful that people are praying for her.” Sivells has had numerous people, including other pastors and Kentucky Baptist leaders, call and pray with him for her healing.
Sivells makes the 100-mile drive to Nashville daily to visit her. “I can only see her through a glass door and get to talk with her on the phone when she feels up to it. She has not been eating and they had to increase her oxygen this morning (Tuesday). She has problems only the Lord can take care of.”
Sivells has pastored four KBC churches — Canton Baptist (twice), Southside Baptist in Princeton, Nortonville Baptist Church and currently pastors Blue Spring Baptist in the Little River Association. He spent years as a full-time evangelist and served on the KBC Mission Board staff as a regional consultant.
He is confident they weren’t exposed to the coronavirus at church. “We have done everything we needed to do — we have taken all precautions for people to be safe at church,” he said. The church has dismissed in-person services at various points during the pandemic but has ministered to people by posting sermons on Facebook.
“Sandy hasn’t been able to attend services for two to three months,” he observed. “She missed going back, but with all her health problems, she wasn’t going to take any chances.”