The wife of a local pastor is in critical condition after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
The woman is one of Lake County’s first two confirmed COVID-19 cases, and she remains in isolation while being treated at Community Hospital in Munster, according to sources with knowledge of the case.
Jeff Spencer, a pastor at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Hobart, said early Wednesday in a public Facebook post that his wife, Darlene, is sedated on a ventilator and her kidneys are failing. Her breathing is being assisted with oxygen.
Jeff Spencer said on Facebook he's under quarantine at home and can't be with his wife at the hospital.
"The worst part is the fact that I’m confined to my house while she’s laying in a hospital and I can’t be by her side holding her hand.￼￼ Please pray that God will do what I know he’s capable of doing when the doctors can’t bring healing to my wife and pray that no one else would have to go through what I am right now," Spencer wrote early Wednesday morning in a public Facebook post.
Spencer said on Facebook his wife's symptoms began at the start of last week and she went to the doctor last Thursday.
He said she was taken to the emergency room Saturday — with limited personnel contact — due to trouble breathing, fever and low blood oxygen levels.
Spencer received the call Monday night that his wife tested positive for the virus, which affects the lungs' ability to battle infection, he said.
Sources with knowledge of the case say Darlene Spencer is a school bus monitor for the School City of Hammond.
The school district, while unable to confirm the woman's identity Tuesday, said a bus employee worked last Tuesday “servicing a small group of students to special programs at the Area Career Center, Eggers, and Edgewater in Gary.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family: www.gofundme.com/f/pastors-jeffs-wife-in-icu-with-corona-virus.