On Dec. 25, 19-year-old Alex Bentley was admitted to Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a condition that eventually progressed into COVID phenomena.

Previously he was sick at home for seven days before his trip to the emergency room on Christmas. Thankfully, he has made almost a full recovery, returning home after 11 days in the hospital - Jan 5.

UC Prayers Answered! "He is doing great now. He is not experiencing any kind of COVID symptoms. He is breathing back to normal. He is back to his old self, again!" his mother, Joy Harrison, exclaimed. She mentioned it took a couple of days after returning home for him to get back to full strength.

When asked if there was a doctor she would like to thank, Joy replied, "The Cincinnati Children’s team that oversaw Alex's care from infectious disease, from adult care to pediatric care did an amazing job treating him with COVID."

She mentioned, while being treated for COVID, doctors found a bacterial infection in her son's bloodstream. This forced Alex to simultaneously fight a newfound blood infection, COVID-19 and cerebral palsy. He kicked all their butts, Godspeed! This young man's perseverance, despite all the adversity, is a testament to his strength and capability.

Joy also praised the respiratory therapists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. She said they worked with him routinely to get his lungs pumping more oxygen, even though some of the exercises were uncomfortable for him.
"They were amazing and patient with him," she said. "They pushed him, so he could get better, but they were understanding when it was too much."

According to Joy, after Alex was admitted, he had one hard cough; then, his oxygen levels dropped dramatically. He was hooked into an oxygen machine and given 10 liters, an alarmingly high amount, holding at that rate for the next couple of hours. Moderately, he improved, and doctors lowered it to seven liters of oxygen, where he stayed for a few days. Next, he was decreased to five liters. His countdown to recovery had begun. Joy said, "In order to go home, he had to be completely off of oxygen and maintain healthy O2 levels of 93 or above." Alex kept improving until he met the requirements.
"He's pretty dang tough. He's a fighter. His biggest goal was that he wanted to come home. So, when it came to his breathing exercises he would always say, let's do it," Joy proudly recalled.

His stepmother, Amy Bentley, reported that "the social butterfly" was excited to be back with his church friends; he worships at the Church on Fire in Batesville. She and Joy both confirmed their son was back to daily activities with his life skill group at the New Horizons Watch Center in Brookville.

"We have a blended family situation. We traded off staying with Alex at the hospital," Amy described. She continued with praise for the community, "A lot of people supported Joy and Alex with the Go Fund Me, so we are really thankful for that - It was a huge blessing to us."

Becky Finley reported the online campaign she started raised $5560. That's awesome! She pushed the endeavor through Facebook groups Liberty Indiana Talk and College Corner Talk, with tremendous results.

Joy also kept the community updated with social media posts. In addition, Amy Bentley's father, Pastor Dave Jones, helped get the word out with other churches. He is the former parishioner of Faith Independent Baptist Church in northern Kentucky, retiring after 50 years in ministry. Thanks to the extra exposure, they raised their fund's goal and Alex had people praying for him across the world.

"My dad talked with his pastor friends, then they started their prayer chains. Then it just kind of spread - I couldn't even tell you how many people were involved. It was incredible how many people his story reached," Amy said.
"Alex and I are very grateful for all the prayers and support from all the surrounding counties, and everywhere really. We are very thankful for people helping with the Go Fund Me and we got a lot of very nice cards - he really liked that. I do, too," Joy said.

When asked how Paper Street Bakery was getting along, Joy gave sincere admiration to her staff by stating, "Sarah and Evelyn managed to make over 300 cookies for the Christmas week... I am so grateful for them."
She continued, "We have been closed since Christmas Eve, but this week we've reopened. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing and seeing everybody's happy faces - the business will be okay."