A regional leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Texas is continuing to recover from his battle with COVID-19.

Elder Art Rascon, an Area Seventy who lives in Houston and works as a television news broadcaster, tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after Christmas and has faced a difficult road to recovery.

During January, Elder Rascon said he experienced aches, pains, extreme fatigue, fever and breathing issues, according to ABC 13 Eyewitness News in Houston, the television station where he works. He has spent time in the hospital, developed what doctors termed as “COVID pneumonia” and continues to breathe with the help of oxygen tanks.

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“My breathing has improved only slightly. This will no doubt be a long process, but I am grateful for the small steps of progression,” he said on Jan. 14. “There is a divine purpose for all things, and I’m confident that as we accept trials and challenges and allow them to change us for the better, we are always stronger in the end.”

In a follow-up interview with ABC 13 on Feb. 2, Elder Rascon said he is improving but also described moments when he struggled to breathe and “felt like I was dying.”

Despite the scary times, Elder Rascon expressed gratitude for the many thoughts and prayers he’s felt in recent weeks.

“It’s moments like these that you really get a sense of why the importance of families is so real. Family has rallied around me, and not just family, of course, but so many friends, so many viewers,” he said in the Feb. 2 interview. “I’m just so filled with gratitude for the number of responses, concern and the prayers and the faith ... because it really helps. You feel it. You know it and you sense it, and it’s real, and I’m so appreciative of it.”

Elder Rascon wrote an open letter of gratitude that was posted on Jan. 19.

Elder Rascon was one of 58 Area Seventies called in April 2020.