Tulsa pastor released from hospital after weeks in COVID-19 ICU

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa pastor is out of the hospital after 49 days working to recover from COVID-19.

Mitch Wilburn, a pastor at The Park Church of Christ in Tulsa, spent three weeks in the COVID-19 intensive care unit, where at one point he needed 22 bags of blood and plasma, and he was put on a ventilator.

Wilburn says even though he was physically alone in the hospital for much of the time, he never felt alone because of his incredible medical team.

He’ll still have to do so rehab as he works to regain his strength.

Wilburn says everyone should be wearing a mask right now and helping do whatever they can to stop the spread of COVID-19. He says anyone who doesn’t is selfish.

“I don’t get the people who say ‘Well, I won’t wear a mask, because it infringes my rights,’” Wilburn says.

“Well, you obey the speed limits. You know we understand that as a part of living within a community for the safety of others…and so I just don’t get it.”

FOX23 talked with Wilburn’s wife Shannon when he was still in the hospital.

“He coded for seven seconds, and they call that a ‘code blue pause’ because he came back on his own,” she said. “... it was scary sitting in the room watching the numbers go down to zero and flat line.”

The Wilburn family thanked healthcare workers for the care and their support.

“Thankfulness and Gratefulness,” Shannon said. “I don’t know how to express how I feel about that because you saved my husband’s life. How do you thank someone for saving your husband’s life?”