71-year-old patient discharged from Staten Island hospital after 8-week battle with COVID

STATEN ISLAND, New York (WABC) -- A hospital on Staten Island had a warm send-off for a patient who battled COVID for eight weeks.

Richmond University Medical Center sent home 71-year-old New Dorp resident Gene Giliotti on Wednesday.

Giliotti was admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving morning for complications from COVID and spent nearly eight weeks fighting the virus and also spent five weeks on a ventilator.

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A family's holiday party in Milmont Park, Delaware County, turned out to be its own superspreader event.

"We are ecstatic," Giliotti's wife Lorraine Giliotti said. "He went from the worst, to eventually coming off a ventilator, to needing a tracheotomy so he can breathe, to finally coming home. It's a miracle thanks to everyone on the staff at RUMC."

Slowly, Giliotti made his recovery and gathered enough strength to breathe on his own.

"Miracles are happening every day in the midst of this pandemic," chief operating officer and chief nurse officer, Rosemarie Stazzone said. "Gene's determination to return to his family, his will to live, made today possible. His discharge today provided an emotional boost for our entire hospital and a fantastic way for his family to start the new year."

Giliotti was approved for discharge to a rehabilitation center in New Jersey, where he will continue his recovery.

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