‘Felt that death was actually imminent’: Missouri City man who contracted COVID-19 variant talks about experience

MISSOURI CITY, Texas – Senior Pastor, Fort Bend County Independent School District teacher and veteran Anthony Williams thought his near-death experiences were behind him after surviving a traumatic brain injury and a bullet in Iraq. Then, last month he ended up in the hospital struggling to breathe while battling what he later learned was the South African variant of COVID-19.

“That moment was the first time in my life that I felt that death was actually imminent,” Williams said. “I felt like I couldn’t catch my next breath.”

Williams had been in Georgia visiting his mother the week prior. He flew back to Houston a couple of days before Christmas and celebrated the holiday with his children and started feeling sick.

“I immediately, after that, went ahead and got tested,” Williams said. “Immediately, I went into isolation. I stayed here in my home away from my children, family, friends, coworkers.”

Four days after his positive test he was rushed to the hospital. While his breathing stabilized quickly with treatment, severe symptoms lasted another week.

“It was almost like a flu, multiplied times ten,” he said. “I had a lot of sweats. I had a lot of body chills. Appetite went away. I lost almost 15 pounds. It was really horrible.”

“I laid in my home several days with nothing but me and my Bible,” Williams added. “And all I was able to do was barely get some fluids in -- drink and pray.”

Houston Methodist conducted the test that confirmed that Williams had the South African variant of COVID-19.