BLAKELY, Ga. (WDHN) — Jerome Ealey was a healthy and strong 48-year-old when COVID-19 changed his life forever.

Ealey spent a total of 46 days in the hospital between his first hospitalization and his second. His wife had to bring him up to speed when he was able to be discharged from the hospital.

“When I first got out my wife was telling me, hey things are not like it was. Us being real social and being able to entertain she was saying hey we aren’t going to be able to do the entertaining and social, and that was a big change but there were some good things about being able to spend more time with my family. “ said Jerome Ealey, COVID-19 survivor.

When Ealey was discharged, he wasn’t able to walk without assistance. His family had to set up a room with hospital equipment and help him with rehabilitation.

“It was different we had to set up a hospital bed, the wheelchair, walker, bedside toilet, things that, shower chair, and it was like all of this is new to us,” explained Ealey’s wife, Temonica .

Ealey says that the hardest part has been having to rely on his wife and children for help when usually it’s the other way around.

“I remember just coming home, and not being able to be my self as far as getting around and it was a big issue for me being able to be with the kids and be active with them and I wasn’t active,“ Ealey said.

Ealey and his family took it step by step on the road to recovery, and it wasn’t long before he was back on his feet.

“Actually I really kinda the first couple of days, just being who I am I made myself get up and start walking and I had in my mind I wasn’t going to be a wheelchair or walker, that’s not me so I kinda just really pushed through and mentally I just made myself just go walk and do things,” Ealey said.

The Ealeys say they credit the staff at Southeast, God, and prayer for getting them through this time.

“God promised me he would come back home and I just trusted the word. I trusted the word,” Ealey’s wife said.

The family has pushed forward and continues to choose faith or fear every day.