Coronavirus News: Long Island school custodian welcomed home after battling kidney failure, COVID-19

GLEN COVE, Long Island (WABC) -- As the ambulance pulled up to their Glen Cove house, there were tears, joy and applause from a neighborhood of friends who have come out to wish Frank Petrizzo a welcome home.

"It was very hard - I never want to re-live it again," he said.

Nearly two weeks ago, Frank's family was told he wouldn't last the night. Last year, the 49-year-old father of two was in renal failure and was in need of a kidney transplant. A janitor at the local intermediate school, they held fundraisers for him. The entire community was praying.

Frank eventually found a donor, and was making a full recovery - then he started coming down with symptoms of COVID-19.

"He was sleeping on the couch. Couldn't get of the couch for about two days, and then a ever started - we figured something was wrong," said his wife, Michelle Petrizzo.

The next morning, Michelle was told the unthinkable - her husband only had hours to live, and she had to tell her girls.

"They pretty much screamed and went on the floor and hugged each other, and I'll never forget their screams, but I had to tell them that we have hope, and we always have hope when we believe we prayed," Michelle said.

They said a prayer and had the whole community praying. A short time later, the hospital called her with an experimental drug that Frank was a candidate for.

"I just said 'do it' to be honest with you. I didn't know what the trial was called. I was desperate, and I said 'just do it, whatever you are going to do to save his life, do it,'" Michelle added.

On Easter morning, they received word that Frank was taken off the ventilator - they couldn't see or visit him in the hospital, but the staff was giving the family daily updates.

"The nurses and doctors, they are angels," Michelle said.

While the road for Frank is still long - it was nothing short of a miracle.

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