William “Bud” Johnson enjoys the parade to welcome him home. Photo provided
By Bernadette Watson
FOREST PARK — A group of family and friends of William “Bud” Johnson, a beloved community resident, gathered their vehicles on Saturday afternoon, May 2, for a “Welcome Home Parade” to celebrate Mr. Johnson’s hard- fought recovery from a COVID-19 infection. The event was in Calvary Church parking lot, 11970 Kenn Road, Forest Park.
Mr. Johnson’s wife, Lola, and many of his friends greeted him after he recently returned home from a 33-day hospital stay. He was released several days earlier after being in the Intensive Care Unit from March 25 until April 29. During his hospitalization, he was on a ventilator and in a medically-induced coma for 10 days, and given a feeding tube to keep him alive.
During his hospitalization, Mr. Johnson developed a staph infection and received a blood transfusion. A nationwide prayer chain was organized to help him recover. His first words after waking from his coma were, “Come get me,” spoken to his wife.
Mr. Johnson is well-known within certain segments of the community, having worked at People Working Cooperatively for several years prior to his retirement. He is known as “Uncle Bud” or “Buddy Bud” to many people.