HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Long Island family is celebrating Thursday. Their loved one is finally home after a nearly five month battle with COVID-19.

Behind 77-year-old Theodore Alston’s mask was a giant smile when he saw his family face-to-face for the first time in a long time, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported.

“I’m so happy. I’m just so happy,” said Alston.

Thursday was “discharge day” for Alston, who was isolated from his family for four-and-a-half months battling the coronavirus.

“I couldn’t see my wife, my children, all of my friends, my son. I love them,” he said.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Alston was admitted to North Shore Hospital on March 28. His family said he was on a ventilator for more than two months.

On the long road to recovery, Alston went to the Northwell Health Stern Family Center for rehabilitation in July.

Alston left Thursday to head back to his home in Hempstead, but his medical team wasn’t sure this day would ever come.

“The doctors and nurses all told me they really didn’t think I was gonna make it,” said Alston.

“They didn’t spare anything when it came to fighting to save his life,” said Alston’s wife Jeanette.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Both Alston and his wife are forever grateful to the front line workers.

“The people here treated me so well. The therapists and all of the caretakers treated me so well. They brought me back to life,” he said.

“An amazing day. A day that, for a long time, we weren’t sure was going to come, but thank god it did,” she said.

Alston told CBS2 the first thing he wanted to do when he got home was have a good turkey dinner with his family.

Of course, his wife made it happen.

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