Family and friends organize celebratory parade for COVID-19 survivor 

It was a parade on Pinehurst Sunday afternoon to celebrate Tonya Watson, a COVID-19 fighter and survivor. 

“To come outside and feel the fresh air, it felt different,” Tonya said. “Felt like I was gone for a while, which I was.”

Tonya spent more than a month in the hospital, and most of that time was on a ventilator. 

“After they put me on a ventilator, that’s all I remember,” Tonya said. “Everything after that was a dream.”

While her family members couldn’t be by her bed side, they were in her dreams. 

“My nephew was my doctor and my sisters were my nurses,” Tonya said. 

One of those sisters organized Sunday’s celebratory parade. 

“Putting this event together is better because life lived is being celebrated versus a funeral,” said Tonya’s sister Felicia Watson. 

Even neighbors across the street got in on the fun. Everyone just wanted to see Tonya waving and smiling behind her mask. 

“I want everybody to know that I do love them because you guys have been a great support team. You all have been there,” Tonya said.