Wayne Goff has been a loved and respected employee of TECO for more than 36 years. He is a supervisor for the Linemen Department at the Palm River TECO office and when he recently became infected with COVID-19, the linemen, his family and his church came together to pray for a full recovery.
“Wayne loves his job and he is well respected by everyone,” said Tracie Goff, Wayne’s wife. “The linemen are like a brotherhood and they stick together. When Wayne got sick, our family never had to worry about needing anything because all of the linemen sent me flowers and food or they were calling to check on us to see if we needed anything.”
When Wayne became ill on June 21, Tracie and their family turned to their family motto for strength.
“Wayne has a tattoo that says #goffstrong and he had the tattoo done in honor of his father who passed away,” Tracie said. “Every time we thought we were going to lose Wayne’s dad, he would bounce back. We would say ‘Goff Strong.’ It’s kind of our way to say ‘keep going’ or ‘keeping fighting.’”
While Wayne was at South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City, his battle worsened with COVID-19 and he ended up in ICU on a ventilator. The Goff family was in fear of losing Wayne.
On June 28, Wayne’s COVID-19 numbers spiked. He crashed twice and his kidneys were starting to shut down.
“I called our pastor and asked him to let our congregation know that Wayne had COVID and to say his name and to ask for prayer for him during the church’s live streaming service,” Tracie said. “I told the nurses at the hospital to tell Wayne ‘Goff Strong’ so he would fight.”
On Sunday night, Wayne sat up in bed and began to remove his tubes and IVs.
“Prayer is what made Wayne start to get better,” Tracie said.
As word spread through TECO about Wayne fighting his COVID-19 battle, the linemen started putting #goffstrong on their bucket trucks in honor of Wayne.
“The office Wayne works out of even posted a banner on the building that said ‘#goffstrong,’” Tracie said. “I took all the pictures the linemen sent me, the pictures of the banner at the TECO office and made a little video. I sent it to Wayne so he could see how much everyone cares for him and how they are pulling together for him, so he continued to fight and get better.”
Wayne came home from the hospital on July 11. He is getting stronger everyday and has a whole new outlook on life.
“The power of prayer and #goffstrong is what made Wayne get better,” Tracie said. “All of this support has inspired all of our spirits.”