Faith, Rest and Support Helped One Valley Family Survive COVID-19


As of April 8, 2020, Alabama has tested over 18,000 people and 2,499 have tested positive for the coronavirus. Chambers County has the sixth most cases in the state at 140, which includes eight reported deaths.

“There was a night where I really thought I was about to leave,” said Gretchen Mitchell Holloway. “I felt like I was about to die.”

A household in Valley survived COVID-19. The oldest resident, 59 year-old Holloway, was the first to test positive.

“I just prayed and asked the Lord to heal me, so this sickness is serious. It’s like no other.”

The Associate Minister at Rehobeth Baptist Church, said it all started with body aches and fatigue. Holloway eventually developed a fever, cough, headaches and shortness of breath, so she qualified to be tested.

“Didn’t want anything, the T.V. or anything. It was just sleep. I had to stop taking Ibuprofen because they were finding that it was not good if you had the COVID virus, and as long as I had the Tylenol in my system my fever would stay down.”

April 9, 2020 will mark Halloway’s third consecutive day without a cough, the day she will be considered officially a coronavirus survivor by her doctor. Unfortunately for one of her college friend’s, Vickie Billingslea, who also suffered from diabetes, did not recover and lost the fight.

“I lost one of my best friends who lives in Troup County. You know that really saddens my heart to lose so many people.”

It’s important to stay isolated in quarantine to practice social distancing, but it’s also crucial for COVID-19 patients to feel love and support. The supplies and supplements that community members delivered to Holloway’s doorstep played a major impact.

“That gave me inspiration to  see the love outpour of others, and it encouraged me, so I think that encouragement also helped.”

If you are concerned about coronavirus symptoms in East Alabama, call the hotline at 334-528-SICK.

Categories: Alabama News, Health