RUSTON, La. (KTVE/KARD)– Since 2019, COVID has affected so many lives one of them being owner of J&W Music Guitar Shop, Johnny Winchel.

The J&W Music Guitar Shop is the second and newest location of Johnny and Wendy Winchel music store the first one being in Bossier, Louisiana. The Winchels saw a need for a music store in Ruston, however when they were in the process of signing the lease the government had shut down all businesses due to COVID. Once the shut down was lifted, the Winchels still wanted to open the second store and continued the paperwork. Unfortunately, after just being open for a year disaster struck when Johnny Winchel tested positive for COVID in August.

When Winchel first tested positive, he said his symptoms were very similar to the flu but then after a couple of days he found it difficult to breathe. On August 12th, Winchel was emitted to the hospital “I was sitting on the couch, and it felt like my lungs were collapsing so I told Wendy to call 911 and luckily we live a block away” stated Winchel.

Afterwards, his symptoms started to get worse which he then had to spend fifty-four days attached to a ventilator. Winchel expressed that the hardest time being in the hospital were the first two weeks since it was complete isolation. During his experience in the hospital he was heavily medicated and couldn’t remember much of anything except when he flat lined and was pronounced dead for two minutes. When asked if he saw anything in those two minutes he said he didn’t because it truly wasn’t his time to go.

In total, Winchel had spent one hundred and fifty-two days in the hospital fighting for his life, he was finally able to walk out of the hospital January 11th. Now, Winchel is trying to return to a somewhat normal life, and continue to run the music store with his wife Wendy who has been by his side everyday during his recovery.