The El Reno, Oklahoma church of former Trinity St. John’s minister Aaron Kotila is not spared from the highly contagious COVID-19.
Rev. Kotila and 10 members out of about 140 people who weekly attend the Trinity Lutheran in El Reno are now COVID positive.
The minister is the only one with severe symptoms, said his wife, Teresa.
After his symptoms progressed from mild to severe, Rev. Kotila entered the critical care unit of a hospital in Oklahoma City Sunday, October 4. He is on oxygen because of low oxygen level, but is not on a ventilator. His lungs are so weakened by a 90 percent infection that he barely speak, said Teresa Kotila. He also being treated for a secondary infection. The next five days are critical, she said.
Before contracting COVID, Rev. Kotila, 56, was healthy and had a strong heart. Weight is a factor, however, as he has 350 pounds on his 6’2” frame.
When the first symptoms of a runny nose started, the couple attributed it to seasonal allergies. When symptoms of aches and pains started, they attributed it to his previous surgeries and sciatic nerve.
Within a few hours of conducting Sunday service September 27, the minister’s symptoms worsened and they realized it was COVID.
Read Rev. Kotila’s full story in this week’s issue.