Coronavirus CT News: Patient released after 15-week battle with COVID-19

WALLINGFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- After a 15-week battle with COVID-19, a man from Connecticut has finally returned home to his family.

It may not seem like much, but Vinny Malvarosa walked out of a Connecticut rehab facility on his own on Tuesday.

"I couldn't lift my arm to scratch my nose, I was pretty much catatonic, I didn't understand how much time had passed," Malvarosa said.

More than three months passed. It was an ordeal that started March 11, when the married father of three from Yorktown Heights, thought he had the flu and ended up in the ER.

"Assumed I'd go there, get some antibiotics and come home after a few hours, that was 103 days ago," Malvarosa said.

Malvarosa was Northern Westchester Hospital's first COVID-9 patient.

The 50-year-old ended up on a ventilator and his wife was told he may not make it.

"At one point they told her she had to come to say goodbye, she wouldn't accept that," Malvarosa said.

He was on the ventilator for more than 30 days.

Malvarosa says at Gaylord Speciality Care, the therapists rebuilt him piece by piece, and were there when he hit emotional walls.

"I want to go home, see my wife, see my kids, I can't do this anymore," Malvarosa said.

After more than three months, Malvarosa has COVID-19 in the rearview mirror and is glad to be back with his family.

"Somebody said to me, 'I look forward to the next mountain you climb,' I kind of feel like I've rebooted my life in a way," Malvarosa said.

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