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COVID temporarily changes services offered at TLC Community Center

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
To ease many minds, the TLC Community Center in Elizabethton, which serves 1,372 children and 1,775 adults locally, is not closing. The Center has been closed due to the recent surge in COVID cases.
Cases included the agency’s director, Angie Odom, who along with her husband, Earl, and daughter, Bella, tested positive for COVID and underwent varying levels of treatment.
The director eventually found herself a patient at the VA Hospital and came very close to death.
After recovering and being discharged from the hospital, Odom is taking the COVID issue seriously and how it can impact her volunteers and those that are served by TLC. She consulted with the CDC and other health organizations, and decided that until the virus numbers begin to drop, the agency will still offer the same services, but not the way they were previously offered.
“For those with children, calls should be made to 423-543-4673 or 423-895-8601. Leave a message, and they will be contacted for an appointment where they can come by and pick up food,” Odom shared. “For children five and under, the Mommy Mart Clothing will be available on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the clothing set outside where two people at a time and wearing masks can pick up the clothing they need. Adults temporarily can get food from the Loaves and Fishes Ministry located on the four-lane as we work hand in hand. Food can be picked up every day at 6 p.m. there except on Wednesdays and Sundays,” Odom shared.
She also encourages those needing help with food to contact First Baptist Church in Elizabethton.
Odom also discussed what led to her contracting the virus in hopes of helping others.
“For 16 months I wore a mask because I wasn’t vaccinated due to a heart issue,” Odom said. “It started to get better, and I stopped wearing masks. I caught it I believe from going into a grocery store.”
To cause matters to worsen, after being diagnosed with COVID, her physician prescribed the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin used for worming animals in a small dose for Odom as treatment.
When her condition worsened she went to the VA Emergency Room as she is a veteran and when tests were performed, her liver enzymes and blood count were out the roof.
Odom would later find out that she more than likely had a reaction to the Ivermectin and was told by a VA physician that if she had taken one more dose that could have possibly been the end of her life as she was informed the medication does more harm than good.
After being admitted to the VA, Odom said that things became real at that point in regard to the virus.
“When I was admitted into the COVID unit at the VA, I could feel the heat from my head to my toes with double pneumonia,” Odom recounted. “It was late at night when I got into my room and my anxiety was high from the feeling of being secluded. I just started crying and said, ‘God, I’m sick and need to be with my family.’ There was so much going through my mind and I just started praying for God to help me have peace.”
The doctor had ordered something for Odom’s anxiety, but her prayers had been answered as she shared how she woke up the next morning after sleeping all night holding a small cup with medicine in her hand and was told it was given to her the night before to help her sleep. She wouldn’t need it, however.
Her husband Earl took care of their autistic child at home while she recovered and until she was able to come home. She said her husband, who is also a diabetic had double pneumonia.
Bella only had minor symptoms.
“It saddens me to cut anything out but this is serious,” Odom added. “There were a couple of things that I was reminded of during this time and that is to appreciate life and appreciate today as well as no matter where you are at, God is where you are at. The devil is angry because I am praising God.”
Odom said that those that are served by the center can call the center’s phone number at 423-543-4673 and a message will be recorded on the line informing of the status of services being offered.