Clarksville Pastor's condition improving

Pastor Val Swinton stands by the Welcome to Clarksville sign in this 2017 photo. (Bethany Carson photo)
Bethany Carson

    According to recent updates from family members, Clarksville pastor and former mayor Val Swinton’s condition is improving.

    On March 26, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Butler County, and Swinton’s family asked the community to join in prayer for his recovery from the coronavirus, as he fought for his life in critical condition in ICU, on a ventilator in a medically induced coma.

    The outlook last week was grim, as doctors gave Swinton only a slim chance of pulling through on March 29. But by April 5, his condition had made notable strides, and he no longer had a fever. By April 7, Swinton was awake and breathing mostly on his own. It’s anticipated he could be off the ventilator within a few hours or a few days.

    “He has been opening his eyes often today, a lot more than yesterday. He’s still not following commands, but the nurses do think that he can hear what’s going on around him. It will be a long road until my dad is himself again. Slowly, but surely, it seems like he is fighting his way back to us.” son Sam Swinton said in an update posted publicly on Facebook on April 5.

    On the evening of April 7, Sam Swinton was able to have a conversation with his father via video call. 

    "He is incredibly eager to go home. He told us he’d be home in three days, but the nurse, Chelsea, and myself convinced him to wait at least five. My family and I are overcome with gratitude and thanks to all who helped my father get here. Whether it be from prayer, medical care, or positive vibes," Sam Swinton said.

    News of Swinton’s hospitalization hit the Clarksville community at its heart, and prayers and well-wishes for his recovery have poured in from throughout Butler County, the state and nation.

    “Not only is he a former mayor, he’s a dear friend of ours, loved and respected by so many. The news of him contracting the virus was devastating,” said Clarksville City Clerk Lori Peterson. “We continue to keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers. It’s incredible how the community has rallied around him and continues to do so. I can’t imagine the world without him.”

    Swinton’s family thanked the community for their continued support.

    “With all the prayers, positive energy, and good vibes sent my father’s way, it would appear he has turned the corner and is on the road to recovery!” Sam Swinton said.



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