Beloved Special Olympics athlete from North Carolina in ICU battling COVID-19

CONCORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- A beloved North Carolina Special Olympics athlete is in the ICU fighting COVID-19.

"He has a smile that will just light up a room, and we miss that," his sibling Robin Collyer told WSOC in Charlotte.

TJ Carpenter has been on a ventilator in a hospital in Cabarrus County for more than a week. His family, like many others since the pandemic began more than a year ago, say it's even harder to handle because they can't go visit him.

"He's got a good soul and a good heart, and so when I tell you he truly doesn't meet a stranger, he does not," Collyer said.

Carpenter's friends and family now hope to bring some healing power through prayer. They're holding a prayer vigil outside the hospital Saturday night.
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