ROCKVLLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There was a special surprise Sunday for a COVID-19 survivor on Long Island.

Family and friends flooded his sidewalk to celebrate a life saved at one of our area hospitals, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.

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They honked and cheered as loudly as they could, so Robert Sidberry could feel their love from behind the safety of his screen door.

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The 55-year-old survivor said it was their ongoing prayers and then the parade helping him pull through a brutal battle against coronavirus.

“It gives you that extra boost. Whatever aches and pain you are still going through, you can get past it,” Sidberry said.


Sidberry is still regaining his strength to walk and talk after a 29-day hospitalization at Mercy Medical Center.

Two days after being admitted, his condition became so dire doctors had to intubate him. His wife, Kenneeda, said she remembers the phone call from the hospital.

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“They told me that he stopped breathing. They had to put him on a ventilator. They had to sedate it. I just … I lost it. I honestly lost it,” Kenneeda Sidberry said.

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Over the next few weeks, Robert’s family lost contact with him, but they refused to wallow in despair. They said their constant prayers and called, even when he couldn’t hear them.

“It’s very hard on the families, but it’s just as hard on the patients because a lot of patients probably think we gave up, that there’s nobody there,” Kenneeda said.

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From his send-off at the hospital, to Sunday’s welcome home parade, the Sidberrys said the cheers weren’t just to celebrate Robert, but to all the medical staff still fighting on.

“They don’t get the credit that’s due. They saved my husband’s life,” Kenneeda said.

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Once Robert fully recovers and the pandemic is over, his family said they will be returning to the hospital to properly thank his doctors with hugs.