KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Sevier County deputy is one step closer to coming home.

Patrol Sergeant Robert Stoffle has been in the hospital the past month, after contracting COVID-19. He even had to be put on a ventilator.

In a recent update on social media, Sgt. Stoffle’s wife Margie has been off the ventilator since Sunday morning. “Tired. But breathing,” Sgt. Stoffle said, and he’s now breathing on his own.

“They actually took it out of the room and everything, so he’s done with the ventilator,” said Margie.

Stoffle has been in the hospital since September following his COVID-19 diagnosis.

“I remember going into the hospital, and then I remember waking up and asking for my wife. And that’s really it,” he said.

While he doesn’t remember much else from the last month, he does know it’s been filled with community support. Officers from Sevier County and neighboring departments previously went to the hospital to pray. Stoffle said it feels like prayers have now been answered, and his wife is calling him her miracle.

“All the prayers brought him back to me I believe, and the Lord,” said Margie.

Stoffle doesn’t know yet when he’ll get out of the hospital, but he’s looking forward to going home, seeing his children and getting back to work.

“I get a second chance. That’s the most important thing. For those people that are praying for me, pray for those other people too that have COVID and are in the hospital. It’s pretty rough,” Sgt. Stoffle said.

He is still needing some assistance to get oxygen through the use of a trach. He also said he was not vaccinated. When asked if he wished he was, he said he still had some questions about the vaccine, but now, probably.

Margie added that community members can send him cards and mail if they’d like, to keep his spirits up. Those can be mailed to Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Robert Stoffle Room 414 N, 1901 W Clinch Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916.