EVENING SHADE, Ark. — We are all facing some kind of challenge during the pandemic, but for one Arkansan, the virus is just another battle in his lifetime.
"Life itself has been a battle from the very beginning, you know,” said Larry Weaver, an Evening Shade, Arkansas man.
Weaver is 72 years old. At 17, he became a member of the United States Marine Corps.
He was deployed to the battle grounds of the Vietnam War many years ago and that is where his fight for survival started.
"I happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot of times,” said Weaver.
"He was shot four times in combat,” said Nancy Weaver, Larry’s wife.
Larry met his wife Nancy just years later, not knowing she'd become his teammate for life and his biggest support system when he became diagnosed with cancer, another years-long fight he was lucky to survive.
"He had thyroid cancer three times, lymphoma, and I don't know what else,” said Nancy.
Fast-forward to now, just when they thought times couldn't become more challenging, the couple has been extra cautious during the COVID-19 crisis because of Larry's weakened immune system.
But, the Weavers still couldn't escape the virus.
Mid-July Larry and Nancy both caught COVID-19. Once again, another battle, but this one they didn't know if Larry could beat it.
"We ended up with the whole 9-yards of it, and of course, the side effects,” said Weaver.
Larry is struggling with the aftermath of COVID-19.
He’s dealing with things like weakness, dehydration, and extreme weight loss.
Now, he’s begging people to take the virus seriously because of all he's been through, this fight has been one of the hardest.
"People sure need to take this serious because people are dying from it. It's very, very dangerous,” said Weaver.
The couple officially beat the COVID-19 fight together, but they were shocked Larry made it through this one.
Now, they are spreading hope during trying times.
"He's still here with us,” said Nancy.
“Thank God. Thank God,” said Larry. “I owe my life to him.”