Christian author and speaker Joni Eareckson Tada is requesting prayer after experiencing flu-like symptoms and testing positive for COVID-19 in recent days.
Her disability advocacy organization, Joni and Friends, announced in a Facebook post on Sunday that Tada had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was receiving a monoclonal antibodies treatment, which was approved by the FDA for emergency use in November for those with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms.
“While we know this diagnosis has not taken Jesus by surprise, we are interceding for Joni’s health, strength, and confidence in God’s good purposes,” the organization said in a statement. “We have seen God protect her from two bouts of cancer and we know he can do it again!”
On Monday, Tada herself provided a Facebook update on her health.
“Thank you for praying for Ken and me following my COVID-19 diagnosis!” she wrote. “As I read the many comments from friends like you, wow… I am deeply humbled that the Holy Spirit has garnered so much prayer support for us. I don't deserve it, but I sure do appreciate it! Thank you for asking God to grant me strength, increased faith, a singing heart, and sure hope!”
Tada said the diagnosis led her to think of the “untold numbers of people with disabilities all around the world” who do not have access to medical care.
“I'm so grateful for my care and that I can pass the blessing on through the work of Joni and Friends,” she wrote.
The FDA’s emergency authorization of monoclonal antibody treatment was only for those “at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.” That includes “those who are 65 years of age or older, or who have certain chronic medical conditions,” the FDA said in its November statement.
“Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses,” the FDA said.
Bamlanivimab, a specific monoclonal antibody, is designed to block “the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells,” the FDA said.
Photo courtesy: Joni and Friends
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.