Vigil held outside hospital for pastor battling COVID-19

A group came together to pray for a local pastor who contracted COVID-19 while she was waiting on her appointment to get the vaccine.

Pastor Dr. Sheila J. Spencer had been hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine but had recently made the decision to get the shot. On the day she had an appointment to get the vaccine, she ended up in the hospital after contracting the virus days earlier.

The community came together in song and prayer Sunday outside of the Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital in hopes that she would hear their prayers from her hospital room.

"We’re all here to pray, We’re just better together I believe she knows we’re out here praying for her and we’re just waiting on that call to know she’s awake.

Pastor Spencer's daughter says her mom has been in the hospital for more than a week and is now on a ventilator.

"It did hit really hard at home with us but we do know she’s a fighter," said Meka Davis, Pastor Spencer’s Daughter.

As of their latest numbers on Friday, Orlando Health had 344 in-house COVID-19 patients, 47 of them were in the ICU. A month ago, on June 25, the hospital system had 67 in-house COVID-19 patients and 6 people in the ICU.

Doctors and the family are encouraging others to get the COVID-19 vaccine immediately.

"This new variant, this new spike is showing us that regardless of age people are getting very, very sick with COVID – especially if they’re not vaccinated," said Dr. Manzoor Safder with Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital.

For three decades, Pastor Spencer has been leading others spiritually, now her family is looking for the Orlando community to pray for them.

"It touches our hearts to know the impact she’s made as a national and international minister that people are now turning around praying for her," said Davis.

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