HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - It was an emotional day for the Shorts family when one of their own finally left the hospital and made his way back into the arms of loved ones.
Ronald Shorts II took his final walk through the halls of Forrest General Hospital after 80 days battling COVID-19. Hospital staff celebrated his exit with him and when he got to the doors – he was surprised by his whole family waiting to welcome him home.
“I had no idea... big surprise. I believe I’m truly loved,” Shorts said about the fanfare.
Shorts spent 60 of his 80 days in the ICU. He had to be intubated multiple times and even had surgery. Meanwhile, his family says they gathered to pray for him, three times every day.
Shorts shares how he was feeling during his time in the hospital saying, “I had a bunch of praying people on my side, so I never felt like I wasn’t going to make it. So I just tell people to keep God first and you can’t go wrong.”
He hadn’t seen most of his family, including his young children, since he was admitted.
“It was kind of rough not seeing family, especially during times like the holidays, but I just thank God that we’re here now,” Shorts said. “We’re able to see them now. And my wife, my wife, she definitely, you know, I think the Lord sent her to save my life.”
His wife, Alisha Shorts, says there were days she wasn’t sure what might happen.
“It was kind of hard, an emotional rollercoaster,” she said. “I mean we had several times, you know, where the doctors just didn’t know what else to do, but through it all, they were great. And like he said, if it wasn’t for God, we wouldn’t be here now.”
Family members thanked the staff at Forrest General and say they are blessed to be able to come together again.
“Spiritually, I knew he would make it out and I knew with all our family and all our friends and the support we had we were going to be just fine,” Alisha said. “And we’re just the type of people that, you know, we know anything you can do building together and being as one makes you more solid than trying to do anything on your own.”
Janelle Posey, Shorts’ cousin, shares, “We are a very close-knit family. The love we have for each other is undeniable. And him being released from the hospital, it’s not a question of us being here. More so how could we not be here, that’s just the love we have for each other.”
Family members who couldn’t be there in person even called in on Facetime to see Short. The family greeted him with inspiring T-shirts bearing a Bible verse, a banner, balloons and, of course, lots of love.