LONG ISLAND, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It was a glorious reunion: After more than three weeks of touch and go, isolation and rehabilitation, Scott November of Northport made it home alive.

He was Huntington Hospital’s very first patient to be put on a ventilator and recover from COVID-19, reports CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan.

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“I want to give hope to COVID patients not to give up,” he said. “It’s like a dream to me the whole thing’s a dream.”

“I’m crying because I’m happy,” said Scott’s wife, Shelley November. “And crying for all those who maybe had to make a funeral.”

Wife Shelley was at home also fighting coronavirus. Their children were frantic.

Inside the COVID quarantine wing, Scott was losing consciousness, gasping for air.

“He said he couldn’t take it anymore, that he felt he was dying and to call his family,” said Huntington Hospital nurse Katie Kelly.

Kelly said death was out of the question. She gave her personal cell phone to Scott’s children, Jordan, Courtney, and Remy.

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“She was so integral to us and helping my dad heal,” said daughter Remy. “She let us FaceTime twice a day while he was in a coma.”

“They couldn’t be there to touch his face, hold his hand, shave his beard,” said Kelly.

Nurse Kelly hung his family posters and blasted his personal playlist.

“I thought I was in heaven and thought, ‘Oh, they play Led Zeppelin in heaven,'” said Scott. “I was pretty much agnostic going into the hospital. Now I’m kinda leaning the other way.”

That partnership between family and healthcare workers is critical to survival.

“He reminded me of why I became a nurse,” said Kelly.

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Scott and his family say they cannot wait to take off their masks and be able to wrap their arms around nurse Kelly and her heroic team.