Charles Thompson had already spent three of his five weeks at Silver Cross Hospital before he received his wallet back.
Thompson, 46, of Joliet, had severe complications from the virus that causes COVID-19.
His possessions were returned to him once he finally moved from the intensive care unit to the covid unit.
Inside his wallet was a mysterious piece of paper with Psalm 91:10 written in his mother's handwriting. He asked himself, "Who put this in my wallet? Where did this come from?"
Thompson knew his mother Priscilla Thompson, with whom he lives, could not have slipped the paper into his wallet. Priscilla also had covid and was hospitalized for five days, starting the day before Thompson's admission.
And because of the hospital's visiting restrictions, none of Thompson's loved ones could visit him.
But when Thompson read the back of the paper and saw his own handwriting, he understood.
Earlier in Thompson's illness, he scheduled two telemed appointments with his doctor. During one visit, Thompson needed to jot some numbers. So he called out to his mother for a piece of paper.
"She ripped off this piece of paper from her Bible study stuff," Thompson said.
Thompson found out later that when his sister, Wanda Thompson Wright of Joliet, was asking for prayers for him on social media, she referenced this verse, too.
Finding that piece of paper gave Thompson the strength to recover, he said. At the time Thompson was so weak, he could not stand, much less walk. At his sickest, he had about a 10 percent chance of living, he said.
"It kind of put everything in perspective for me," Thompson said.
The incident reminded Thompson of the time when, years ago, he was questioning his faith and had gone out for a walk.
While walking, he found a "beat up plastic cross that said, 'God bless you and always be with you,'" he said.
"I picked up that cross and carried it with me in my pocket for years, everywhere I went," Thompson said. "And then I lost it one day."
Two years ago, Thompson had lunch with a friend who insisted on paying. When the friend opened his wallet, Thompson saw his cross. His friend shared a similar story on how he found it.
"When he lost it, too, he figured that somebody else needed it," Thompson said.
So although Thompson feels very grateful to the his health care workers and all the support he received from family and friends, he knows where to ultimately attribute his healing.
"I'd like to say it was God," Thompson said. "It's pretty much a miracle."