West Columbia native in Oklahoma ICU receives plasma infusion for COVID-19
Oklahoma City, OK – One of the West Columbia and the Midlands’ best known “best friends” has received a convalescent plasma transfusion in his fight against the coronavirus. This fast-tracked infusion program considered experimental has shown success in other patients. Randy Spires has been fighting for his life against the COVID-19 virus since late March and has been on a ventilator for almost three weeks.
Randy and his wife lived and raised their family off Platt Springs Road near Red Bank. He is known and loved by thousands here in Lexington County, across the Midlands, and now in Oklahoma. He and Karen moved west to be close to their daughters’ families and his precious grandchildren. As he was struck by the disease, thousands joined across the globe to pray for his healing.
Randy described himself as, “Just an old West Columbia boy,” when around many of the thousands that considered themselves his friend. For more than 30 years, he sold products for South Eastern Concrete Products in Cayce. He often described himself as just the son of an old brick layer which was true, but was also a brilliant businessman. Many sought his financial advice or just wanted to be around a “Good Ole Boy” as he describes himself. He has a smile and a kind word for everyone he met.
Randy and his family are devout Christians. He attended West Columbia Pentecostal Holiness Church (WCPH) for decades. There, Randy was a leader and provided expert advice after prayerful consideration. When WCPH planted Life Springs Worship Center in White Knoll, he was a key leader in that project. It became successful and later they planted other churches. One of the most successful has been The Rescue in Pelion that is almost through building their first church and sanctuary. They have been meeting in a school for years. Every Sunday, Randy would usher, act as a greeter, or offer words of encouragement to the faithful. Often, the line to shake Randy’s hand was as long as the line to say hello to the pastor.
He is well known at restaurants across the area. He’d meet daily with friends to enjoy a meal. He always patronized locally owned businesses where the staff knew him by name as he knew theirs. He had some standing meal dates with the most influential people around. If you ever got on Randy’s “Once a week” meal list, you knew you had made it! Still, he always made time for others.
An expert golfer, he once sunk a hole in one at Charwood. The Lexington Ledger wrote about this on its SPORTS page. He modestly shook his head when the article ran and said, “I hardly believed it myself until everyone started cheering!”
Randy’s wife Karen is a retired speech teacher from Lexington School District One. He cares deeply about education and was often involved with the district's projects. The couple have two daughters, Whitney and Meredith, who are both married with wonderful families. After retiring, Randy and Karen moved to OKC to be closer to family and his much-loved grandchildren. Still, he flew back to West Columbia regularly, cared for his aging aunt, and made the rounds to see as many friends as possible.
Paul Kirby, the editor of The Lexington Ledger, said recently, “When I started this business, Randy met me weekly to talk and discuss finances and planning. We’d meet at his building, the man cave behind his house, and talk. It really helped get me on a firm foundation. We often prayed together too.”
Kirby said that he spoke with Spires in Oklahoma on a Friday in late March and talked for a while. “He sounded great. He was feeling fine and in great health. By the middle of the next week, someone called me and said he had the virus and in ICU on a ventilator. I was crushed as I’m sure so many others were.”
His daughters have been giving regular updates about his health. They are expected to update the community after the infusion begins its work. They have asked that prayer warriors focus on Psalms 41:1-3 and Psalms 118:17. People have literally prayed for this great man all over the world. For the latest on Randy, go to his Facebook page and focus on the post of either Whitney or Meredith.