Family, friends gather for parade to celebrate Phenix City COVID-19 survivor

Updated: May. 30, 2020 at 5:37 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Members of a Phenix City community came together to surprise one COVID-19 survivor with a little bit of joy on Saturday, May 30.

The family and friends of Bennie Turpin got together for a surprise parade for Turpin who was just recently released from Regional Rehabilitation in Phenix City on May 27.

The Mt. Olive Fire Department also joined the parade. Turpin is a 20-year board member of the fire department.

Turpin has been hospitalized since mid-March.

“Makes me feel like a millionaire,” said Bennie Turpin. “Makes me feel like a celebrity. I feel great.”

Turpin’s family said he’s a living testimony because he has preexisting health conditions, including being a kidney transplant recipient five years ago. After being on a ventilator for some time, Turpin said it’s been a long and tedious journey, but he’s happy to be going home.

“It means a lot to do it for him, not only him, but anybody in the community that just wants to have an inspirational pick up during this pandemic,” said Markeius Sanks, Engineer at Mt. Olive Fire Department.

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