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After 128 days in a hospital -- 51 on a ventilator -- Covid-19 survivor 'Miracle Larry' is finally home

Larry Kelly earned the nickname "Miracle Larry" after surviving a long battle with the coronavirus, including over 50 days on a ventilator. WCBS has more.

Posted: Jul 24, 2020 7:21 AM
Updated: Jul 24, 2020 7:21 AM

At one point Larry Kelly was considered the sickest patient at Mount Sinai hospital in New York. A day after being admitted, he was put on a ventilator as Covid-19 ravaged his lungs.

He suffered seizures, and when his condition worsened his wife had to stop doctors from pulling the plug.

But his brother didn't nickname him "Miracle Larry" for nothing.

After 128 days in the hospital -- 51 on a ventilator -- Kelly was released from a medical facility on Thursday, allowing him to return home and embrace his family.

From cold to coma

When Kelly, a retired high school assistant principal, tested positive for the coronavirus in March, he said it simply "felt like I had a cold." After his hospital admission, however, his condition deteriorated rapidly.

"While I was in a coma, I had pneumonia in both lungs," the 64-year-old told CNN. "I was agitated so they gave me fentanyl to calm me down. I got addicted to the fentanyl so they had to wean me down on methadone, and I had a massive brain bleed, which they say covered my entire brain."

The doctors called in Kelly's wife, daughter and brother to the hospital, strongly suggesting that they agree to take him off life support and say their last goodbyes. When they arrived and his wife, Dawn Kelly, set eyes on Larry's frail body, she said her knees gave way.

"He was attached to a lot of monitors. Tubes everywhere. EEG on his brain. He looked awful," his daughter, Jackie Kelly, said.

But as doctors insisted on pulling the plug, his wife remembered the last text that Kelly had sent her before he was placed on a ventilator: "I promise I'll never stop fighting."

"I said he would want to live," Dawn Kelly recalled telling the doctors. "We all said that."

'You don't want this'

With the support of his family and hard work of the medical staff, Kelly finally opened his eyes on Easter Sunday.

"I am very lucky," Kelly said. "But on Easter Sunday in New York 527 people died, so people were dying all around me and I didn't die. Is that a miracle? I don't know, but this disease affects not only individuals but their entire families."

"I feel so much for the people who lost loved ones, and it's on everybody to wear their mask," Kelly said tearfully. "You don't want this. It was not easy to get here."

At the end of May, Kelly continued his healing process at the New Jewish Home, an assisted living facility, where he worked with three different therapists -- speech, physical and occupational -- to get his body back to normal, according to the New York Times.

And on Thursday he finally exited the facility's doors to cheers from his family, friends and caretakers.

The first thing he said he's looking forward to after spending 128 days in the hospital is his first meal at home.

"I don't know if you've ever had nursing home food but..." Larry said jokingly to CNN affiliate WCBS.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
Wabash303251
Adams300936
Ripley298445
Putnam296850
Huntington291659
Jasper289034
White273243
Daviess270474
Jefferson263338
Decatur247683
Fayette247148
Greene239862
Posey239328
Wells236051
LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
Randolph213548
Jennings198936
Sullivan192333
Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
Owen165737
Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
Rush155118
Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
Tipton132332
Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
Unassigned00
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