Ardmore community comes together for A Night of Healing

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
COVID survivor Allen Benson shares his story at Night of Healing.
The Carter County Health Department was on site to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The community gathered at Noble Stadium on Thursday evening to reflect on the losses of the past year while also looking forward to the future at Night of Healing. The evening included inspirational music from Equip Life Music Ministry and a solo performance from Susan Pfau Yeager as well as an inspirational message from Pastor Artie Farve and Pastor and City Commissioner John Credle. One of the highlights, however, came when Allen Benson shared his story of surviving COVID.

Benson, a native Ardmoreite and graduate of Ardmore High School, pointed out that COVID does not care who you are or what your history may be. While at AHS, he played football and later went on to Oklahoma State University where he was starting linebacker for his junior and senior years. After college he went on to work at Michelin for 37 years as well as run his own yard service.

As he phrased it during his speech, COVID looked at all of those things and said, “so what?”

“I was in the hospital for six days,” Benson said. “I couldn't breathe. I was so weak that I ran out of energy in the shower. The first time I got the chance for a shower, I had to sit down. That's how weak I was. I took two transfusions to bring be back. I lost about 30 pounds – which I did have to lose, but I didn't want to lose it that way.”

He noted that the isolation of being in the COVID unit took it's toll. But he was able to make it through with the help of Christ.

“When you're isolated and your loved ones are not around you, who is there with you,” he asked. “Jesus was there with me every step of the way. I could feel him holding my hand. The thing I wanted to know was what can I do to help this along. I know God doesn't need my help, but it was mostly for me and my family.”

Benson eventually recovered as did his family members who also had the virus.

He offered some closing advice to anyone dealing with the virus – or any of life's other problems.

“Don't ever give up,” Benson said. “Fight to the end. And when God stepped in, God said that's my child. Leave him alone. And I'm still here today.”