NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Remember the name John Mormando?

The Oakland, N.J. resident was released from Valley Hospital in Ridgewood on Wednesday. He told CBS2’s Chris Wragge on Thursday the doctors and nurses were warriors, along with his wife, Kim, his guardian angel. They all played key roles in his survival.

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When told he was the first person in the state to recover from coronavirus, Mormando said, “Obviously, I’m happy that I recovered. I’m hopeful that it gives hope to everyone out there this is still sick, that there is an end to this nightmare.”


Mormando is a 53-year-old Ironman triathlete who contracted the virus on March 1.

“I’m so happy to tell you that not one person that I came into contact with got sick. If my own wife and child didn’t get sick, and they were in the house with me for a full week,” Mormando said.

Asked if he was able to trace his infection back to a specific place or person, Mormando said, “Yeah. As a matter of fact. It was at the bowling alley, of all places.”

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Mormando said it was just a casual handshake with a friend who is still in the hospital battling the coronavirus.

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“When they did say I was tested positive I nodded my head and said okay, it makes sense,” Mormando said. “I have never been this sick. Fevers up and down. Chills every night and the chills would be so bad that it would cause my body to shake so bad that my breathing was spasmatic.”

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Fighting a life-threatening medical issue is not new to Mormando.

“It’s funny. It’s actually today. It was two years ago today, March 19, 2018, I was diagnosed with male breast cancer, which was a 9/11-related cancer,” he said.

But Mormando said he felt at times this this virus was a tougher battle. Miraculously, as he recovers, his wife and son are symptom free.

“Through this whole process, neither of them got sick. I think it’s because we were diligent. I started wearing a mask in the house and I put myself in self-quarantine in the house,” he said.

And Mormando is a grateful man, a fighter, and loved by many who have been pulling for him every step of the way.

“At some point, even when I had the cancer, you stop thinking about yourself and say ‘I gotta get better for everybody else. I gotta keep fighting this because there are too many people pulling for me and I don’t want to let them down.'”

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Mormando said he was grateful to have his son, Jonathan, right by his side throughout the ordeal. He plans to stay in self-quarantine for another two weeks, just to be on the safe side.